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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1264 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Octopus was released in 1972, against prog staples like Foxtrot, Thick as a Brick, and Close to the Edge. It holds its own against those masterpieces, but in its own way. Whereas Yes, Tull, and Genesis released albums fll of grandeur and epic tracks, GG opted for shorter, more personal sounds. The result is one of those rare prog classics that is defined by its restraint, not its technical display. That is not to say that the music is simple. Quite the contrary, it has some of the most complex arrangements you'll ever hear. However, the complexity works in a way that makes the songs sound simple.

The music flows beautifully fro song to song. Every mood that music can convey is thrown together to make moments of soft whimsy to dark heaviness. The Advent of Panurge features great dual vocals that are spaced to sound more like a duel than a duet. Raconteur Troubador has a great brass section. A Cry For Everyone is a rocker that adds some power to the mix. Knots is my favorite song on the album, as it perfectly condenses the band's vocal, instrumental, and lyrical powers into one four minute song that feels like a jorney through music itself. The drums in particular are incredible.

The Boys in the Band has a killer organ riff plus the best rock sax playing I've heard on a non VDGG album. Dog's Life shows the band's capacity for humor as they compare roadies to pets. It's probably the weakest instrumentally, but the lyrics are great. Think of Me With Kindness is another ballad that is much more emotional than the opening track. The album closes with River, another rocker that has a great guitar solo that is trumped by a better xylophone solo. River is kind of like the slightly less complex and accomplished version of Knots.

All in all, GG craft music of incredible complexity, but they don't rub your nose in it like many prog bands do. In fact, this is the most pleasant complex album I think I've ever heard. Lyrically, the album isn't great by normal standards, but it is the apex of GG's writing. The music is just so wonderful, and it takes several listens to fully appreciate just how deep the arrangements really are. I cannot recommend this album enough and even non-proggies could easily fall in love with the beauty of this album.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |

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