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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2129 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This one's a head scratcher.

ELP made many "interesting" choices to say the least in their selection of songs on this album. Half the time I'm wondering if it might be some of prog's best moments or if it's something I'd hear at a carnival before an elephant walked a tight rope.

Starting with Jerusalem, an average track with nothing quite memorable. Toccata sounds entirely like an early nintendo game, but it is still quite good and entertaining, especially if you about to face King Koopa. What's remarkable about this is that it's years ahead of it's time in terms of video game music, so props to ELP there. Benny the Bouncer is completely laughable and almost impossible to take seriously. The album finally gets good with its epic piece Karn Evil 9, although the pieces really have no connection to each other.

Movement 1 is my personal favorite, with probably the most solid and accessible effort, and I'm not one you would typically associate with accessible. Movement 2 begins with an upbeat piano and delves into some kind of congo pattern intended to show off musical virtuosity, and once again ahead of its time, ELP seems to have Donkey Kong music down pat. Followed is a feign attempt at artistry with a soft passage with little to no relevance to anything that's been done. I'm left wondering "what's the point?" before I even get to the closing track.

Sloppy, discoordinated, rambling, noodling: all are adjectives that could describe what is going on here. Some might describe it "artistic", other's "bs". I happen to be in the latter group. Sure, we have a few good passages here and there, but the lack of songwriting keeps anything from being interesting for more than a few listens.

OpethGuitarist | 2/5 |


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