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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Emerson, Lake & Powell: Emerson, Lake & Powell CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 557 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars For the sake of continuity and consistent branding, Keith and Greg searched far and wide for a percussionist whose last name started with the same letter as their previous. Cozy Powell was the end result.

Just kidding.

After the original trio's foray into the world of techno pop with 1978's disastrous Love Beach, the boys decided to call it quits. The succeeding years were not particularly successful for any of the boys, so, seven years later they proposed a reformation. This time around, Carl Palmer declined. Cozy Powell was selected to fill the void.

1. "The Score" (9:07) half Karn Evil ("Welcome Back Ladies and Gentleman ?") and half Leonard Bernstein West Side Story ("once you're a jet your always a jet"), the newly formed trio announce their return with admirable ELP bombast and only a few touches of 1980s technology (mostly in gated drums and some updated keyboards.) Decent for the fact that it does indeed sound like true ELP. (17.25/20)

2. "Learning to Fly" (3:50) Stolid Greg, solid Cozy, with Keith's demonstration of his adaptation to some of the newer keyboard/synth sounds and technologies (including MIDI), all enfolded into a more standard ASIA-sounding radio- friendly (with multi-voice chorus!) song. (8.5/10)

3. "The Miracle" (7:01) a very pleasant YES/WAKEMAN-like song--even jazzed up a bit--with a fairly simple, laid-back pace and sonic weave, allows Greg Lake to soar in one of his finer performances. (He is so good at sounding like the circus ringmaster!) Neither bombastic nor derivative, this is just a very good, highly engaging, melodic prog song--like something that ALAN PARSONS PROJECT might have done in the 1970s. (14/15)

4. "Touch and Go" (3:39) back to Keith's tendency to coopt themes from his beloved realms of classical music, a synth presentation of a familiar Celtic riff becomes the foundation over which an entire song is built--with Greg spinning an almost anthemic, militaristic effect with his exuberant vocal. Definitely injecting a couple of memorable earworms into the listener's life. (8.75/10)

5. "Love Blind" (3:11) more pop-oriented (aside from Keith's awesome synth solos), this could've come from a lot of the synth-pop bands populating the screens of MTV viewers at the time. (8.25/10)

6. "Step Aside" (3:47) Jazz piano! Now going back to 1950s jazz-oriented torch songs, it feels like a modernized recording (and rendition) of some classic . Unfortunately, it just amplifies the weaknesses in Greg's singing (as well as how unbefitting his voice is to this style). (7.75/10)

7. "Lay Down Your Guns" (4:23) As much as he tries, Greg's heavily reverbed voice actually diminishes the effectiveness of his attempt to sound emotionally-invested in this song. It's too bad cuz you can tell he really wants this to be powerful. The musical accompaniment is beautiful, never trying to usurp the spotlight from Greg's emotional appeal. (8.75/10)

8. "Mars, Bringer of War" (7:55) a true homage (or contribution) to the prog era of old: a cinematic instrumental. Definitely a reminder of an era gone by (though Hungarian band Solaris had published their symphonic instrumental "Martian Chronicles" masterpiece less than two years before). Yet this one brings little new--and certainly nothing to want to return or revive the old ways. (13/15) 9. "The Loco-Motion" (4:36) * I remember hearing this on the radio a couple of times. What were those stations/DJs thinking? Must've been a last minute "filler" added on in order to more-nearly fill out the CD's 72-minute capacity. It does, however, contain some excellent synth soloing in the second half. (8.5/10)

10. "Vacant Posession" (4:42) * This one definitely sounds like a last-minute, under-developed, perhaps unfinished, and under-produced, "demo-like" song. (8/10)

Total Time 52:11

* CD bonus tracks

I'm definitely reviewing the full CD presentation of this album as CDs were finally a thing: vinyl purchases/sales were declining as more people were switching to the more convenient, less vulnerable digital formats.

B-/3.75 stars; an acceptable addition to any prog lover's music collection as there are some truly nice, ELP songs and performances here among the mediocre or unfortunate ones. Not as bad as one might expect (or as Love Beach).

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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