Friday, January 29, 2010

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Works, Volume Two

5/10

Works, Volume Two is made up of stuff that didn't make it onto previous albums, and it's pretty obvious which albums some of them were originally recorded for- "Brain Salad Surgery" was left off of the album of the same name, "Bullfrog" didn't make the cut for Palmer's slice of Works Volume One, and "Watching over You" is another lame Lake/Sinfield ballad. Other tracks are harder to place, but many of them have a pretty strong barrelhouse/boogie-woogie/blues/old-time jazz feel (there's even a cover of Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag"). Unfortunately, I don't really care much for keyboard-based blues or jazz styles that predate the hard bop revolution of the fifties, so these tracks don't do much of anything for me.
While Works Volume One was all over the place but ultimately mediocre, Works Volume Two is just dull but fairly pleasant throughout. I don't know if they were burnt out on bombastic prog songs or what, but there's basically none of the epic sound of their first four albums (five if you count Pictures). I'm sure the Dixieland sound prevalent here will appeal to some people, just not fans of ELP's classic era.

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