Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
on 19 June 2014
After a couple of ho-hum albums and numerous line-up changes, Robert Fripp finally got the ingredients right with this one. John Wetton (Family, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, Asia) comes in on vocals and bass whilst ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford takes over on skins. David Cross adds violin and Jamie Muir throws in some weird and wonderful percussion. The results are terrific.
The album is book-ended by parts 1 and 2 of the title track and it helps give the album a 'complete' feel to it. The first part is a bit 'out there' with the signature improvisation/jamming that we expect from Crimson, punctuated with the odd melody and loads of Muir's percussion. The second part is rockier, more guitar driven and borders on heavy metal. It closes the album superbly.
'Book of Saturday' and 'Exiles' show off the band's songwriting side, with the former, a beautiful and wistful ballad. It makes a nice change to have some more accessible material on a King Crimson album. 'Easy Money' is almost a fusion of rock and reggae, but is classic Crimson: erratic, intense and powerful.
'The Talking Drum' is a nice instrumental precursor to 'Larks Tongues In Aspic Part 2' and segues well into that track.
'Larks Tongues In Aspic' shows King Crimson reaching the heights of their debut album. It's more focused, with a perfect balance of light and shade, improvised moments and genuinely well-crafted tunes. John Wetton is a singer who can actually sing and his bass playing, along with Bruford's drumming, just raises the bar from a musicianship perspective, allowing Fripp space to do his thing on guitar/mellotron. More importantly, unlike the previous three records, this album isn't just Robert Fripp and company. King Crimson actually sound like a band.
'Larks Tongues In Aspic' is the first album of a trilogy of not only their best albums, but a run of albums that held a nucleus of band members together for a change. It might have been short-lived, but it was a highly creative and memorable period in the band's history. This first effort from the 'new' band is a true classic in every sense.
Oh, and the album sleeve is cool as well.