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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2787 ratings

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4 stars We have arrived at a point in time where King Crimson finally had somewhat of a stable lineup. I believe it shows as the songs on here are much better than the previous 4 albums but is it a masterpiece??. Well let's see if I think it is. If you have been reading my KC reviews (chances are you haven't lol) you will see that I have been at best lukewarm about the band. Well, this changes somewhat here for me. You guys want me to rate this? Oh, I will rate this mother real good. So Bill Bruford left Yes to join the Crimson King as they pretty much completely revamped themselves with a new lineup. The lineup was now: Robert Fripp, David Cross, Jamie Muir(why only this album???), John Wetton, and Bill Bruford. To me there is no doubt in my mind that this lineup is and was the strongest that the band ever had and it shows. There were a few new things that the great Crimson Kings did on this album that were never done by them before. First off, they brought in violinist David Cross, I feel he brought another element to this band which made them sound different (which is good). Second, guitar man Robert Fripp decided to beef up his guitar a little more and for me as a metalhead I love that damn instrument beefed and charged up. My favorite work of Robert Fripp as a guitarist is actually on this album as before this his playing was decent at best (for me at least, so don't be a sour puss about it lol). Bill Bruford decided to join King Crimson because he felt he did all he could with Yes and King Crimson provided him a chance for him to improvise and test himself a little more (those jazz drummers lol). However, I feel Mikey Giles best suited this band. Bill says this about King Crimson "with King Crimson you are just supposed to know what to play" but how does that work for him on this album??? Here is my review of Larks Tongues in Aspic

1) Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part One - This one is a pretty darn good instrumental. Even though some might not like the build up, I actually think it works well. However, there are moments when I feel like laughing at this track though as one part sounds like a cat getting strangled and it takes a little bit away from it. This one is really great track though. 9/10

2) Book of Saturday - This one is really great track in my opinion. Wetton's vocals (RIP buddy) fit in perfectly and Fripp delivers a tasty backwards solo. Great track, haha. 10/10

3) Exiles - This one might take a while for one to get but when you do you will be highly rewarded. It's a song that almost makes me want to be an actual fan of King Crimson's music (I do like it but I am not rabid about the band if that makes sense). An absolutely breathtaking track. 10/10

So far after 3 tracks I have no complaints whatsoever as I quite enjoy the album. However, here come the next 2 tracks. Let's get back to the review.

4) Easy Money - Initially, I quite enjoyed this song but with some time it became rather pretentious (or do they really like pimps?) as it started to really annoy me. So much to the point where I feel that it's really not that good (they could have done better). In the track they decided to rip off Yes with a vocal harmony but it doesn't work quite as good (did Bill Bruford have anything to do with the wannabe Yes vocal harmonies? If so, why???). Do King Crimson not Yes. What have they been smoking? Making a song about pimps and prostitution? Gross. Sadly, it's one of the songs that downgrades this otherwise 5 star album to a different star rating (for me at least). It's not Ladies of the Road though. 6/10

5) The Talking Drum - To me it's the worst track on the album. While it does crescendo it also repeats itself over and over and it goes nowhere (for me at least). Though I quite like the violins that make it sound somewhat exotic it's definitely used as an excuse for pretending to be experimental as it goes absolutely nowhere. It gets chaotic and violent towards the end of it and it's a real piece of crap. The dynamics are good but it has nothing else to offer. This song has a fly sound effect(I think). A fly knows when its around crap and this is most definitely crap. It is the true stain on this album for me. It ruins an otherwise 5 star album. 4/10

6) Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part Two - Arguably the best instrumental on the album. The first track gives it a run for its money though (for me at least). 9/10

Overall, I feel this is the Crimson King's finest hour as they blended the improv and the musicality as best as they could as it turned out quite well for them in my opinion. However, I also feel that it is missing something as it's not quite a Selling England or a Close to the Edge. Personally, I feel all King Crimson albums before this had some sort of similarity to them (musically or other wise) and this ushered a new era (that is a good thing). The guitar from Fripp sounded better on here than in any other album but was it any where near as good as say a Steve Howe or Steve Hackett? The answer to that for me is definitely not. He is Fripp though. Aside from 2 stinkers Larks' Tongues in Aspic is a darn great album. It just doesn't satisfy me as much as others. I will give this album an outstanding 4 stars!! Peace out!!

ProgMetaller2112 | 4/5 |


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