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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Gentle Giant - Free Hand CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 1356 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I recently discovered Gentle Giant from creating a station for them on Pandora. I had heard of them and was curious. At first I wasn't crazy about the singing but I did like the music. After listening to them more, I've grown to enjoy the singing very much. Now it's one of the things that makes them so distinct to me and is part of what I like about them, along with their quirky interesting music. I decided to get "Free Hand" as my first Gentle Giant recording. I like all of the songs on it. Here's a brief description of each.

Just the Same - A great start for the album. The music and Derek Shulman's vocals are bouncy and fun. The middle part of the song turns into an airy atmospheric spacey sound, then picks up into fast spacey notes. Hand claps brings it back to the bouncy beginning again.

On Reflection - Layered acrobatic vocals by the group lead the song. The singing sort of reminds me of Queen at times. It melts into a slower, tender vocal by Kerry Minnear for a while with flute and light keyboard. The vocals go back to the earlier style and then suddenly shifts into a cool keyboard instrumental to close out the song.

Free Hand - The beginning has a busy keyboard riff with a little sound that flits along, then a heavier keyboard sound enters with powerful vocals from Derek. Interesting, perky riffs punctuate. Galloping drums and instruments move the song along. Then repeats the beginning parts with added layers of sounds and different parts to change it up.

Time To Kill - Some strange electronic sounds lead into a heavier rock guitar and drums. Then the singing and keyboard comes in. More vocal layering goes on throughout the song.

His Last Voyage - Slow tumbling bass and light keyboard at the start. Then a dreamy, sad but soothing vocal by Kerry for most of the piece. A screaming guitar note comes in and breaks into a wah solo. Then pounding descending bass or piano comes in later and moves into the sad vocals again. I think this is probably my favorite track on the album because it's so beautiful.

Talybont - An upbeat, medieval piece. It sort of reminds me of music from the old Doctor Who series. "Nyssa's Theme" and "Kassia's Wedding Music" come to mind.

Mobile - This perky song reminds me a bit of Kansas in vocals, violin playing and overall rock sound.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this excellent album. I'm looking forward to getting and exploring more of Gentle Giant's music.

poeghost | 5/5 |


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