Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Love Beach


As you may have guessed from the Jimmy Buffett-style album cover, ELP weren't exactly putting their all into this album. The damn thing wouldn't even have been recorded if it weren't for a contractual obligation.
The first side is mostly rancid Lake ballads- Keith is totally phoning in his keyboards, which sound more akin to something from 80's educational films than something worthy of his participation. Since Emerson wasn't too keen on this material, there's much more guitar here than usual, which could have been interesting if the material wasn't so banal. A cover of some classical piece called Canario would've been dull on other ELP albums, but it's probably the best thing here.
And then there's side two, made up of the suite "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman." This monstrosity never gets out of first gear, with long stretches of nothing but vocals and piano. There's little about it that could be considered progressive.
I'm giving this a 2 for the okay Canario, and because Lake actually gives a decent vocal performance for most of the time (he was probably the only one who gave a shit about this album). Love Beach is every bit as terrible as its cover and reputation, and is only for the most desperate ELP completists.

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