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Brain Salad Surgery

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:35 pm    Post subject: Brain Salad Surgery Reply with quote

In response to the review of Brain Salad Surgery here:

http://www.johnmcferrinmusicreviews.org/elp.html#bss

I emailed the author this:

I just finished listening to Brain Salad Surgery for the second time this week on speakers (first on head phones). Though inexpensive both audio systems are far superior to the cheap phonograph stereo I had as teenager listening to them. Back then I rarely listened to the whole thing all the way through, skipping to the "good parts".

Now having listened twice I really appreciate what a brilliant and continuous album work it is. Part of the problem with rock criticism is that it approaches music by dividing and conquering and comparing. It slices out the keyboard and then says, well, it's not quite this and it's not quite that. Rock, any popular music, is a convergent art. Like a collage. It doesn't matter what ingredients go into the cake, so long as it tastes good.

I think Brain Salad Surgery tastes great! It can be called bombastic, or grandiose...but I term it grandeloquent! It's a magnificent statement that begins with Blake and ends with Dante. Here you have a saga about mankind, from early civilization of man under religion, Jerusalem, towards his romantic-man and nature (Still You Turn..) period, and then the Renaissance -- man as the center...and finally, Man with Machine and Man vs. Machine.

The effect is very overwhelming if you take it in as it was meant to be...as a singular piece with a theme, and yes one that asks for sympathy and emotion which it pulls out of you with the said "bombast". Here we have these classicists pulling out emotion and intelligence from its young audience like dentists...no wonder it has to be played loud!

Also you say Star Trek: The Musical...funny, because as I listened to Karn Evil I was thinking more of Star Wars. (And here it may have been John Williams who did some borrowing, or maybe drawing from the same source). But part of the drama of the entire work is this build up. However, unlike Star Wars, and much of Sci-FI, Brain Salad Surgery has a significant theme, a thinking person's drama played out musically, and in a very compressed form, yet again, drawing out great emotion.
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