Posted 03 October 2016 - 12:07 PM
nice read dude, as always :-) i remember reading your king crimson articles religiously.
i especially appreciate the emphasis you place on the humor present in this album. people who bash the high pitched voices, nonsensical lyrics and overblownness of the whole thing, don't realize that tmv obviously understood that this was absolutely ridiculous: the same is actually true for most overblown and epic albums in prog rock history, lots of prog rock came from the uk and we all (hopefully?) know that british humor has a tendency of ridiculizing the self in an over-ambitious and epic way. you mentioned jethro tull, indeed also (in)famous for their absurt epicness: the guy is obviously kidding :-) i mean, jesus, why does everything have to be serious.
interestingly, prog rock is usually seen as something "very serious" both by fans and haters. haters hate it because it is "too serious" and fans love it for that reason haha. so then when an album like amputechture comes around and seems to be a parody of itself, haters of prog rock hate it because it blatantly ticks all the boxes of why they hate prog rock (they don't realize that it's on purpose), and lovers of prog rock hate it because it seems to make fun of prog rock!
most critics at the time didn't realize or had apparently forgotten that omar and cedric constantly change and try out different approaches and genres, that they came from atdi working towards de facto and then creating a new genre in the form of tmv, which they were getting tired of around the time of amputechture. they had done deloused and ftm and then, basically, they knew how it worked. amputechture to me is always the album with which they prove that they know how to do the prog rock thing, and just work half the time on a meta level, as if they're saying: and now prog rock would do this, and then they would do this, like on baphomets, indeed like you said, "let's have a bass solo AND a guitar and sax battle AND a bongo solo. let's begin and end the album with together basically a full EP of rhythmless noise' (it's everyone's own choice to skip it or turn it off)
so yeah, without the humor this album is hard to appreciate, but if you can laugh while this happens, and if you are not too self-conscious to delve into this album's epic absurdity, it is very difficult to not love this album to death :-)