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Gentle Giant - Civilian CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

2.78 | 450 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars GG's final offering from 1980, and it is miles better than the lame 'Giant For a Day' ( an LP which I relegated to the scrap heap years ago). 'Civilian' contains some dynamic rock songs with hints of prog, and, whilst a really short album (32.36 - vinyl format), is entertaining and showed potential, surely, continuing in this direction, who knows what they may have come up with, had they not called it a day after this one....

Starting with a blast, 'Convenience (Clean and Easy)' is a fast paced, intense little song with a catchy chorus, a composition co-written by Gary Green and Derek Shulman, and displays the Giant's ability to go with the times. The overall sound is pretty decent, Ray Shulman's dexterous bass playing (possibly a tinkly Rickenbacker ?), a heavy drum prescence, some unique synth sounds and Jon Lord-like organ playing from Kerry Minnear and Gary Green's guitaring is usual high quality. Derek's vox are excellent. 'All Through the Night' is an out'n'out rocker, not the best track on the album, but a fine performance regardless. 'Shadows on the Street' is a song sung by Kerry, and is more atmospheric and moody, with some thoughtfully arranged keyboards - one of the best songs on the album. 'Number One' is quite a generic and commercial song, offering little for Giant fanatics and prog lovers, nice electric piano though. Side 2 greets us with 'Underground', an amazing track, bursting with energy, and excellent bass lines, it never lets up. Great melodies, interesting synth sounds in the middle. Superb. 'I am a Camera' (not to be confused with Yes or Buggles tracks) opens with, well, a camera taking photos (an idea which opens up the under-rated Renaissance album 'Camera Camera' and many others around this time) and is another vibrant track. 'Inside Out' is the long- ish track here (5.50) and has a kind of epic feel to it without being anything complex, but a well arranged composition - great harmonies, mid-tempo rhythm but without soloing or an instrumental passage. 'It's Not Imagination' is again similar to '...Camera' with that amazing bass playing and crackling energy.

I'm glad they redeemed themselves with this release, as their previous album would've been a woeful way to go out on. 3 and a half stars.

Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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