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Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste CD (album) cover

ACQUIRING THE TASTE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 986 ratings

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SuzyCreamcheese
4 stars Let me start first by stating that I haven't yet heard their first one yet, so I don't know how this one compares to it. THIS ALBUM WORKS! While they didn't quite have the atmosphere of King Crimson, the twisted complexities of Jethro Tull, or the conceptual prowess brought forth by Genesis, Gentle Giant worked hard at what they did, and did it well. This album is very good. It isn't a masterpiece, but then again, Gentle Giant never made 'masterpieces'. They just made very small, very good albums that were appreciated by their fanbase. I have no personal favorite Giant album yet, but this one is up there.

'Pantagruel's Nativity' starts off very nicely with dreary synths that give way to haunting guitar flourishes and Kerry Minnear's beautiful vocals. I prefer Minnear's parts over Shulman's most of the time because Minnear always seems to carry the haunting, beautiful melodies that hold emotional resonance. The harmonies all blend into one another, and the sound quality isn't very good, but the words don 't need to be heard to get the general mood of the piece.

'Edge of Twilight' is haunting and should be listened to after dark. There is a lot packed into this song. The lyrics work perfectly to convey a certain daunting mood. 'Mystical figures under the silence of light', and Minnear plays beautiful tone percussion after each verse.

'The House, The Street, The Room' is one of my favorties, because it flows very nicely, and has an excellent solo from Gary Green and twisted verses with very fragmented words that can be interpreted in several different ways.

'Acquiring the Taste' closes the first side, and once again Minnear produces a beautiful piece by way of the Moog. Short, concise, and timed just perfectly.

'Wreck' is my personal favorite here, and jumps out at you on first listen. The caterwhaling 'hey hey hold on' sections and the off beat drumming produce a very intense picture of a sea storm in your mind. This piece contains a fake ending, and also a beautiful middle section sung by Minnear that I really love.

'The Moon Is Down' is also an excellent piece. Haunting (there's that word again!) saxaphones fade in, followed by mysterious words and creepy chantings of the song's title by Minnear. The breathtaking beauty of the 'they live in my dreams' part is not to be missed.

'Black Cat' is a little more conventional than the rest, and is dated but is still very enjoyable in it's own right. It's just repetitive, and could be a little shorter.

'Plain Truth' has always been a personal favorite of mine. Gary Green orders chips (with extra tomato sauce) from Wimpeys at the beginning of the track amidst swirling violin work from Ray. The group bursts into the main riff, and a long solo follows. An excellent closer.

It's dated in production, and nowhere near as epic as a lot of the work being put out by other prog heavyweights, but it's diverse enough to be consistently entertaining all the way through. It's better than 'Three Friends' in my opinion, and is a good purchase if you're getting into Giant.

SuzyCreamcheese | 4/5 |

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