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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1153 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A very nice and relatively simple GENTLE GIANT album, though if this is your initial foray into the weird and wonderful world of the Giant, you'll wonder what the angst is all about. The songs are straightforward, with little of the complexity of 'Acquiring the Taste' or the four albums to follow.

The concept is not fleshed out, and neither is the music. In the early 1970s most bands' output could be measured in albums per year, not years per album, and in many cases the products were unfinished musically and conceptually. This is certainly the case here. A meandering 'Prologue', for example, which takes up the first six minutes of a 35-minute album, is not an auspicious start. 'Schooldays', however, raises the bar somewhat, with some complex vibraphone and guitar leading to GG's trademark vocals. 'Peel The Paint' is an interesting combination of pastoral and rock themes. But much of the time the music leaves me wondering 'why'? A concept album should make the story's progression clear by both music and vocals. I don't see that here.

What irks me most about this album is the dispassionate nature of the delivery. The vocals are disembodied: the lack of emotion is further enhanced by the reverb, which means the listener has difficulty engaging with the 'story' of the album. It just doesn't sound important enough to the performers, so why should I care? If PETER GABRIEL-era GENESIS is a cry, this album is, by contrast, a polite remark. I need more passion thatn this engenders in order to engage with music.

Never did the name of a band sum up the nature of their music so succinctly as in this release. By all means acquire it, but I find any of their other 'classic period' albums ultimately more rewarding.

russellk | 3/5 |


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