King Crimson
Larks' Tongues in Aspic


4.0
excellent

Review

by NightmareCinema16 USER (36 Reviews)
September 17th, 2012 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: King Crimson strikes back, this time, with a new lineup.

Most King Crimson fans heard In the Court of the Crimson King, and liked it. Even so, the legendary debut wouldn’t prepare him for what would happen next. After Islands, it looked as if King Crimson was almost shipwrecked. But, that was only the first generation. Often times, it has been told that the band has a life of its own.

"King Crimson has a life of its own. It is a creative identity quite apart from the musicians who comprise it."
-Robert Fripp

And so, a new identity of King Crimson came into being. A being that is highly complicated and developed a new sense of talent and a new norm for progressive rock, a new type of King Crimson, which made a stunning studio return with Larks' Tongues in Aspic.

The big deal behind Larks' Tongues is that they transform their old darker, prophetic visionary songs into highly improvised, cerebral, and mind bending passages, the latter of which either impressed Crimson fans or scared them. The greatest example is Larks Tongues in Aspic Part One, which deeply delves into some the newest styles that Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, Jamie Muir, and David Cross explored and found. These new, highly mind bending styles are especially felt in the midpoint of the song. The beginning is essentially a three minute percussion passage, starting with bells, then violin following by a whole slew of other percussion instruments. Another new concept in this album is time signature changes. The first signs once again occure in Part One both at the five minute mark and the seven minute mark. Along with that, there is a high suggestive use of violin in Larks' Tongues Part One, Part Two, and pretty much everything else. After hearing the midpoint of the Larks' Tongues Part One, the escalating intensity comes to a halt. The calamity and the exotic feel of the rest of the song bring another new concept into the 2nd gen King Crimson would use throughout the album, which would pave the way for more possibilities. The overall feel of Larks' Tongues Part One was an accidental experiment gone very well and finished right off the top.

The second track, Book of Saturday is mellow, almost classy KC song that usually does make a plausible experience. This also introduces the new vocalist, John Wetton, yet another new concept from Greg Lake, Gordon Haskell, and Boz Burrell. What makes his new voice a special one is the newer; more hard rock toned sound that he builds for the newly developed group. In this case, his voice and tone are mellowed out in this song. Also take notice again to David Cross and the violin. This not only is a new concept, but also becomes a future foundation for future albums, such as Starless and Bible Black, Red, and USA. The mellow aspects of Book of Saturday transfer very well into another good song, Exiles.

The song, Exiles, is the returning concept of darker songs and darker stories, something King Crimson specializes in. It creates a traditional, airier feel for listeners who can’t seem to escape the classic KC age. The only new foundation, violins, is most present in this song. Not to mention, the use is also used very appropriately in this tune. For one thing, Robert Fripp does an excellent job with the guitar in this song and in the whole album because it’s more present whereas the older albums such as In the Court of the Crimson King are highly dominated by mellotrons and perhaps almost overdone. And it’s the use of traditional, dark music that still keeps them popular throughout the ages.

A more modern, less traditional Easy Money focuses some of the new styles of rock together on a single song. A few noticeable examples include the sounds of clinking glasses, pouring of liquids, and such noises that can be heard in a club or a bar. However, while it doesn’t lack creativity, it doesn’t also lack a bit of pretentiousness either. The same could be said about The Talking Drum. However, it starts out mysterious and quiet. As the song progresses, evidence that the song will sound similar to The Devil’s Triangle becomes more obvious. However, this song, though it is pretentious, is much less pretentious than The Devil’s Triangle itself. The creativity is still pretty high, but it is also undeniably outrageous and upsetting.

In the end, Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part Two makes up for most of it. While it is erratic and crazed sounding, it is also highly complex, creative, and even catchy. The complexity is very much noticeable through the constant time signature changes, which would become more popular in Fracture from Starless and Bible Black, Metropolis Part One from Dream Theater’s Images and Words, and the Dance of Eternity. Once again, the selection of instruments and percussion selections made by Fripp, Cross, Muir, and Bruford is not to mention complementary, but also sophisticated, and spontaneous. This creates one of King Crimson’s most unique pieces. It also gives the band a new style to continuously work with the next few years.

Often times, Larks' Tongues in Aspic is not much more than an experiment. But it was an experiment done right. For one thing, this album helped King Crimson lead the way the climb to top of Prog Rock’s mountain again. It also helped develop a new style that was unique to them. To put it lightly, this was the great return of a popular progressive rock giant.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MO
September 17th 2012


18683 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ye it does indeed

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

Chortles
September 17th 2012


17957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this one is awesome

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

exiles....mmmmmmmmmmm

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2012


4424 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, this definitely one of my favourites, album is incredible. Though its higher than 4 for me. strange coincidence, I was planning on reviewing In the Wake Of Poseidon today.

tarkus
September 17th 2012


5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

eaasy

moneyy

Chortles
September 17th 2012


17957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the title tracks are very good, and while the middle songs are good, i don't think they're good enough to warrant more than a 4. but that's just me

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ye paperback do a review, it's maybe my least favourite of the earlier ones but would be good to read

porch
September 17th 2012


8460 Comments


space out those paragraphs duder

DarthMann
September 17th 2012


13815 Comments


KC STRIEK BACK

NightmareCinema16
September 17th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks, everyone! I had a high dosage of Brain Salad Surgery, Close to the Edge, and Selling England by the Pound.

MeatSalad
September 18th 2012


14540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Larks' tongue in a spic

Chortles
September 18th 2012


17957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fripp the racist

KILL
September 18th 2012


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Jethro42
September 18th 2012


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

classic

NightmareCinema16
September 18th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It was still very good for a return and an different lineup. Robert Fripp must find it really difficult to make friends.

ViperAces
September 18th 2012


12430 Comments


Doest this have the same line-up as Red?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

they were a 3 piece on Red, muir and cross had gone

NightmareCinema16
September 18th 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

exactly. Cross was still in the live recording of Providence.



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