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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory  CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.27 | 1021 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ster
5 stars Gentle Giant's sixth album is another strong candidate for their best album. They put out six masterpieces in a row in my opinion( Acquiring The Taste - Freehand) bookended by two very good albums (Gentle Giant and Interview) That's a good thing. Especially if you are just getting into the band, there is plenty of great material to enjoy.

The Power and the Glory continues the leaner, tighter approach since Octopus?thanks to John Weather's tight drumming. Since Phil Shulman left the band, Kerry Minnear's complex keyboard compositions took a larger role. The music did not lose it's complexity one iota.

Proclamation kicks off this concept album about over-controlling leaders with a quirky, funky keyboard intro as Derek Shulman portrays the leader essentially telling his followers who's in charge for better or for worse. An epic tune.

So Sincere, with it's jagged quirky meters it always amazes me how John Weather's can always find the pulse and effortlessly anchor the band's complex arrangements ? a true talent. The lyrics describe a leader's truthful demeanor as he spews his lies and empty promises.

Aspirations is a slower, mellower tune with Kerry Minnear leading the way with his Fender Rhodes keyboards and lead vocals. This song is about the people's faith and hope in their leader's promises to lead them out of troubled times and to make good on his promises.

Playing the Game is a mid tempo rocker with great melodies and rhythms throughout. The leader outlines the extent of his seemingly limitless power and reveals the fact that he'll do some good to gain the trust of his followers, have the people do as he says, then continue with his deceitful ambitions and split when the going gets bad. That this is the recipe for winning the game.

Cogs in Cogs is a very intense workout vocally and instrumentally. Amazing ensemble playing GG is known for and they played this live! The lyrics describe how the people are disillusioned and restless as they realize the empty promises of their leader.

No God's a Man. Some people say this is a weak track. Not me. Yes it is slower but the contrapuntal instrumental intro giving away to the well placed vocals is amazing and extraordinarily sublime. Then comes the many changes adhering to the theme morphing back into the verse. An amazing tune. The lyrics deal with the people realizing that the leader is just a man and never deserved the high praise he was given and to not expect anything radically different from future leaders.

The Face, a scorching complex rocker telling the leader to own up to his own actions or to put on the proper face when addressing the people. Excellent violin and guitar solo in this one.

Valedictory. Sounding similar to Proclamation indicating the leader's tenure gone full circle. Giving his farewell speech, he puts some blame on the followers for the state of the nation deflecting blame from himself and that "Power and Glory's Way" will prevail no matter how you rearrange it or whomever takes his place.

So there it is. One of my all time favorite albums. probably not the best GG to start with but a masterpiece that belongs in any comprehensive progressive rock collection.

ster | 5/5 |

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