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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2127 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The cover art is one of the most fantastic things I've ever seen on an album cover. The prog has very much promise; with lots of Hammond organ pumped riffs, synth experiments, great bass line, propulsive drumming, epic pieces and a few sci-fi themes, BRAIN SALAD SURGERY has a ton of potential with progsters. But upon hearing the first notes of ''Jerusalem'', you may not realize this at first, but the album is missing one thing; great production.

The production throughout most of the album is just flat. ''Jerusalem'' is one of the better adaptations ELP ever did, but is marred by weak production. I could say the very same thing for the first impression of ''Karn Evil 9''. I remember when I first heard this album, I thought it was one of the best pieces of prog ever, overlooking the production faults.

Another thing that has changed from first listen to now is how much throwaway material is here. ''Still...You Turn Me On'' is just another sappy ballad from Greg Lake that is dispensible to my ears, ''Benny the Bouncer'' sounds like ELP goofing off one day in the studio, and a lot of elongated soloing with the keyboards happens too much everywhere else. For instance, ''Tocatta'' is a very bouncy, energetic piece of work only to be ruined by Keith and Carl playing with their new toys for too long.

''Karn Evil 9'' has potential to be one of the best prog epics ever. Unfortunately on my part, I can't seem to get over how uninteresting I find the second impression, and the third one has too many stupid sci-fi themes perfectly coordinated to battle music I could find in Star Wars. The first impression is my favourite of the bunch, but I would like it more had it been produced better.

It's a great springboard into the world of prog for any new progster, as I was when I first heard this album. The prog essence will grip you right away, but the album's many flaws start getting more noticeable as time wears on. I can't give it less than three stars, but my opinion gets weaker the more times I listen to the album.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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