ELP- Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
Written on January 2, 2010
Let’s start on a positive note. “The Knife Edge” is a great track. Greg’s vocals sound fantastic, and they foreshadow his vocal tone on “Tarkus,” which would be released a year later. There are also some killer progressive jam sessions laced throughout the track. But, this is also the only track on the album that sounds like a complete band effort (Click here to listen to the Knife-Edge).
Other than “Knife-Edge,” you have two other songs with vocals in “Take a Pebble,” and “Lucky Man.” “Take a Pebble” is really the album’s centerpiece running for almost 13-minutes, but it just doesn’t resonate with me at all. Both songs come across sounding somewhat sappy both in terms of musicianship and vocals.
The other three tracks are all instrumental, and while they are extremely impressive from a technical standpoint, none of them are really memorable or stand out, other than the fact that the playing is extremely technically proficient. I’ll admit that there is some cool jamming in all of them, and I’ll also admit that there are very few other bands that could play these songs because of their difficultly level, but that doesn’t make their impact any stronger. For example, if you randomly played me a part from any of these three songs, I could definitely tell you that it’s a track from ELP’s debut, but I certainly couldn’t tell you which one, because none of them are discernible from each other, and none of them really possess any unique qualities that resonate with the listener except for the expert musicianship.
Some fans and critics rave about this album and its merging of classical and rock music, but I just hear three incredibly talented musicians showing off, and for me, the album doesn’t work nearly as well as a progressive rock album where the band is working as a complete unit– not just independent players.
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