Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What CD's were made for, 20 April 2010
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This review is from: Lark's Tongues in Aspic: 30th Anniversary Edition (Audio CD)
The first time I heard Larks Tongues, it was in the mid 80's on a cassette that had seen better days that my cousin didn't want any more. On the first hearing I didn't like it at all. However as other reviewers have said here, it really starts to grow on you. After a while I bought it on LP but it wasn't until I acquired it on CD and was able to listen to it on a pair of ESL-63s did I realise what a masterpiece it is.
You have to listen to it loud though. The dynamic range on the album is huge and the downside of that is you miss the detail of the quiet passages which is why it doen't really work on cassete and even the LP was disappointing...
Larks tongues pt 1 eases you into the album with some peaceful marimba like tones before Fripps guitar comes sliding in and then before you know it you are being knocked off your chair by the explosive force of Wettons bass and Brufords powerful drumming. The violin was a strange addition but it works well and adds an interesting dimension. The track jumps around from heavy rock to classical overture effortlessly.
Book of Saturday features John Wetton on vocals and he is a little disappointing. Oh for Greg Lake to sing on this instead... It probably the weakest track on the album though.
Exiles is also a little disappointing as although it settles down to some nice melodies it doesn't really work that well. However they saved up the best stuff for the second side (of the LP that is).
Easy Money leaps out at you. Its the most accessible song on the album and really rocks along with a tune that (for once) you could tap your foot to. Some great sound effects and some interesting 'instruments' from Jamie Muir come through here.
When I first heard The Talking Drum I didn't get it at all. A 2 minute percussion solo followed by a highly repetitive bass riff with some improv over the top. How could that be interesting? Well it is. It really serves as a build up to the albums crescendo. I find that you have to listen to the Talking Drum and LTIA pt2 all in one go to get the full effect. To start with the percussion is very quiet so turn up the volume until you can hear it clearly. [I usually warn the rest of my household that I am going to listen to music at this point. They know it's going to get loud].
Gradually the music builds in an unhurried way and with each pass through the decibels climb. Cross's violin weaves in and out then the guitar adds to it. The end of the Talking Drum culminates with an eerie screaming effect that pins you back into your seat before LTIA pt2 comes roaring out at you. And boy does it roar. The sound that the rhythm section generates has to be felt to be believed. The music sounds like it is on the verge of going wildly out of control but somehow doesn't. It has crashing peaks and quiet reflective parts before finally cranking up for the crashing finale. It is so immersive that I always feel out of breath after listening to it - its that good.
It is not an easy album to get into. It's very complex but keep on listening to it. Listen to it loud because of the wide dynamics and it will reward you. I would now count this among my all time favourites.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Mar 2011 05:09:30 GMT
Tim Kidner says:
I read your review after I'd posted mine.
I agree with pretty much all you say; the dynamic range either has you straining to hear or turning down the volume in a hurry cos the windows are shaking! Bit like a classical symphony (which were written for playing in big halls, not small rooms).
And how a 5star album starts out as a 3star one. I liken it to Indian cooking or an alternative type of tea.
Could you recommend where I go with KC next? I've got In the Court of...Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2011 15:16:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Nov 2011 15:17:03 GMT
Just buy the lot. Lizard is the only bad one, in my view. And even that is good in parts.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2014 11:15:57 BDT
mrqwerty says:
Funny how we all differ in our opinions. Lizard's my favourite KC album!
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