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King Crimson: Lark's Tongue In Aspic (Atlantic SD 7263)

Gary Lucas, Zoo World, 5 July 1973

ONE THING you gotta say about Robert Fripp, the auteur behind King Crimson, is that he's ambitious. After perfecting his melotron-dominated "death of the universe" visions on the band's first three albums, three underrated albums, his compositional hand has increasingly been attracted to more serious, "complex" forms, a la modern day avant-garde jazz and orchestral music. Islands, the last Crimson album to be released in the states, contained one long piece for orchestra that filled an entire side. The thing was, the music was terrible, a stylistic smorgasbord that coagulated in the listener's head into one greasy meal. Apparently Fripp, like Zappa, was as queasy as most listeners about the validity of certain of his pieces, and like that other musician, included something to undermine its ponderous effect, in this case, a long gimmicky tape of the orchestra tuning up at rehearsal that only succeeded in adding to the pretentiousness of the music, rather than deflating it.

Total word count of piece: 813

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