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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.41 | 2950 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I bought this album right around the time my son was born. Despite what sentiment it owns due to that fact, it remains very much a King Crimson album for me, which is to say, a hit and a miss all at once. I think the experimentation that permeates the album is much too much for my tastes. But as with all King Crimson albums, there is a great deal to enjoy even if one is not more than a casual fan.

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 1" For the first three minutes, the first part of the title track consists of experimental percussion. Fripp's heavy enters like a descending jet before exploding in enraged-sounding power chords. Both he and Wetton are all over their respective fretboards, Fripp more so, almost as though he were playing a game requiring him not to play the same note twice, and Bruford's percussion is lively as ever. Wetton uses a phase effect on his bass during the section where Muir and Bruford sounds like they is hitting everything in the room. The cacophony suddenly gives way to Cross and his lonely violin. The final minute is the best part of this instrumental journey, with mysterious voices in the background and a very pleasing guitar tone.

"Book of Saturdays" The jazziest and most subdued song on the album, this features subtle vocals and clean bright notes and chords from Fripp that pop in all over. He delivers one of his short, processed guitar solos before Cross enters with his violin. The bass is deep but also restrained. Fripp adds more processed guitar as the song comes to a close. The brevity of this song adds to its overall beauty.

"Exiles" Almost two minutes of experimenting with sound precede the song proper, but the beautiful violin and acoustic guitar make it worth the wait. The bass stands out, and that lazy snare drag lets me know that it is indeed Bruford on the throne. Drawn-out (but pleasingly so) atmospheric sections bridge the verses. I love the vocal melody and Fripp's gentle electric guitar solo, which works alongside Cross's violin in polyphonic glory. This is easily my favorite song on the album.

"Easy Money" After some loud music, Wetton's voice struggles over subtle instrumentation. Even when it is bumped up in volume, it is not as audible as it should be. This one has some amusing sound effects. It features some subtle guitar, as well as some intriguing percussion from Bruford. In fact, I would say it is the combination of Bruford's drums and Wetton's bass that keeps this track exciting. I happen to find that it's the vocals that brings this one down. The laughing at the end is nothing short of psychotic.

"The Talking Drum" As the title suggests, this track features various percussion work, even if it doesn't actually talk. Ironically, it is the bass that I find the most interesting thing to listen to, but the violin over it has so much going for it. Overall, the music has an Eastern European feel.

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2" Coming right off the heels of the preceding instrumental is the second part of the title track. The guitar is better here, in my opinion, and the subtler parts are more interesting. Even though it is shorter, I find this part far more enjoyable than the first part. Bruford goes nuts on his drums at the end.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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