This album seems to receive very mixed reviews for some reason. People criticizing Lakes side of the album for sounding mellow seem to have missed the point that in the majority of their albums he always wrote melodic songs, and c'est la vie is yet another of those, you cant help humming or singing along to whether listening to the album or not.
Palmers mainly jazz influenced side I think is another highlight. A drummer of his quality needs an outlet like ELP, and in this case show off his skills with brilliant style.
Emersons piano concerto again says a great deal about his mastery of the piano, which many people seem to have missed, preferring instead to praise or berate the electronic music in equal measure. Myself, I find it brilliant.
However, ELP are a band, and in my opinion they truly shine when playing together. Everyone has heard Fanfare, great cover. But for me Pirates is the best track on the album. Great playing, great singing, great song.