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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.23 | 2034 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3.5 stars.

This is, by far, their most even album far as I've heard.

People seem to be afraid to spin this baby, at the threat of getting killed by Emerson's dissonant marathon... But there's not really that much to fear about; yes, there's still dissonance, but it's digestable. A fault that many people find in this band is the lack of guitar. Lake fortunately fixes the problem, even if he doesn't do any "Steve Howe" or "Steve Hillage" (whichever suits better), he gets the job done effectively in both electric and acoustic. The guitar is still not omnipresent though.

"The Barbarian" starts the album with a faithful reworking of Bartok's "Allegro Barbaro", even if it differs in format, substantially is the same feel.

"Take A Pebble" is a Lake's composition, and it has Emerson trying to jazz things up, as the verse-chorus-solo fades, we're brought to a southern folksy passage with claps, and then Emerson sets the mark again for a jazz improvisation. After all that, we get back to the main theme. Although it might seem a bit stretched at first, it grows on you. I liked it on first listen.

I really didn't care for "Knife Edge"; I find it cheesy in arrangements, and even if I haven't heard Janacek's piece, I don't think he'll be too happy to hear this. The song's melody is strong nonetheless.

"The Three Fates" is for me the best opus on this album. It's mostly a showcase for Emerson alone, although the rest of the band enters at some point. The suite sets off with haunting organ chords that fits more in "Atropos" than in "Clotho" (past and present, respectively), but it doesn't matter. Lachesis is a grand piano segment very much in the vein of a true classical pianist, and yet it really evokes at some point a "warp to the future" (ironically enough). "Atropos" welcomes the entire trio to the piece and Palmer's beat is amazing here.

"Tank" might be seen as a continuation of "The Three Fates" in which Lake employs vibrato in the bass notes at the beginning.

"Lucky Man" is the pop song of the album. Terribly spoiled by the Moog solo in the middle, which by now sounds awfully dated.

All in all, I still think that this album is an excellent addition to every progressive far, even if brought down by 0.5 stars.

Chus | 4/5 |


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