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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Love Beach CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.12 | 797 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Love belch!

This is where it all went pear shaped. The magic suddenly evaporated, leaving an uninspired album. Many of the right ingredients still seemed to be here, the side-long suite, the Greg Lake ballad, the Keith Emerson driven keyboard instrumental etc., but the spark was completely missing.

The sleeve gave the first hints that something was amiss, with the three band members appearing in a photo straight from a boy band album, a million miles from Brain Salad Surgery's innovative and striking presentation. To be fair, since the album was recorded in the Bahamas, the beach scene simply reflects their location at the time. Was it really necessary though to pose like disco era Bees Gees?

The actual music is the real disappointment though. All three band members come across as completely bored: they seem to be churning out second-rate clones of their previous works, without any real effort or inspiration. Were they perhaps saving their better pieces for solo albums?

Greg Lake pretty much dominates side one of the album, although Pete Sinfield is also culpable for many of the inane, double entendre lyrics. ". . . Someone get me a ladder. . ." sounds like Shakespearean prose compared to some of the drivel here. Emerson and Palmer provide only secondary noodling on five of the six short (but not short enough) tracks on side 1. Lake's vocal style really does not suit the superficial pop of these songs, a point which is only exacerbated by the weakness of the songs themselves. The final track on this side, "Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) " is the only chink of light, being a quick outing by Emerson. The piece is hardly challenging for him, but sounds so much better after what has gone before.

Side 2 is made up of the suite, "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman ". The fact that it is a long suite made up of a number of sections is where any similarities with "Karn evil 9", "The endless enigma" or indeed "Tarkus" ends. The piece is simply an extended version of the lightweight pop based songs which dominated side 1. You can almost hear the band members asking "how much longer do we need to keep this going to fill the side?".

There really is nothing to recommend this album, to either fans or those wishing to explore the work of the band. Avoid!

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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