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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2104 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars With Lizard, we get some of the best and worst of King Crimson. I love the experimentation and variety, and some of it works quite well, but we also have plenty of material that is probably not on par with what we know the band can produce, such as in the epic title track. I love the instrumentation, but I think there are some clear limitations in the songwriting department.

Things start out well, as Cirkus is certainly a fun song, with some very speedy guitar from Fripp, and delivered with such panache! On the other hand, some of the melody is just not that good, particularly the police-car-siren refrain. Indoor Games keeps up the quality, bouncing all over from playful jazz to a folksy chorus to a little instrumental freaking out. Good stuff!

Lizard for me is quite a mixed bag. I really only enjoy two sections--about 10 minutes worth--but boy are they good. The opening sequence, Prince Rupert Awakes, is very pleasant and dreamy, yet stately as well. Of course Anderson sounds great, but it's the combination of songwriting and performance that really makes this work. The following bolero section is a bit to free form and improv for me--just not sure what the point is here. However, it's worth getting through, because the final build (I'm intentionally leaving out the second ending), introduced by the menacing mellotron, and then replaced by menacing saxes, is a first class King Crimson freakout all the way. Probably the highlight of the album for me.

As you can tell, this is a frustrating album for me. On one hand, I really like how they are playing, but for some sections, I just don't care for what they are playing. Regardless, Lizard shows a fairly unique and side of King Crimson that is definitely worth having.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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