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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory  CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1007 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

purplepiper
3 stars this is a decent effort on gentle giant's part, but I find that in the end, it just doesn't hold up as well for me as their other albums that I own (aquiring the taste, three friends, octopus, in a glass house). This album does have it's strong points though. Unfortunately, there are weak points that I just cannot ignore. However, amidst the wreck, there are some of my favourite gg tracks to be salvaged!

'Proclamation' is a pretty solid track, offering some groovy bass and drum work to turn the funk notch up a bit. It then progresses into a different section with particularly interesting drumming, almost sounding a bit 'latin'. After that comes the part that you all love; the haunting chorus part. For me, it's okay. I think they could have done better with the vocal composition though. The song finishes with a faster version of the beggining. Over all, a solid opener.

'So sincere' is quite a tasty track (my second favourite on the album). It starts with an extremely strange intro which is syncopated in an intentionally complex way. I love it! The vocals are also sung to create a very unorthodox melody, which I love! The chorus is equally wierd, with busy keyboard parts. There is also a seamless guitar solo to add even more to the track. Eventually, it ends quite abruptly with a repeat of the into. Dilectable!

'Aspirations' is a boring track in my opinion. filler! Okay, maybe it helps with the concept, but musically, I have never been able to like it. It isn't progressive and it's annoyingly repetitive. I usually don't like when gentle giant tries to be mellow. That's not what I listen to gg for! I always skip this track.

'Playing the game' is an oriental sounding track, which I find pretty boring most of the time. It's okay, and surely adds to the overall concept, but It's just boring to my ears (and I have seasoned ears!). It does contain a nice middle section with some charming keyboards, followed by some decent soloing, but for me, this doesn't redeem the song. I guess It feels like filler to me. I do like the lyrics though!

'Cogs in cogs' is my favourite track, and an overall gg favourite of mine! The keyboard is out of control! The other day I puzzled over how one could write such a wierd melody. It's quite a long melody too! Just listen to it! The middle contains a creepy, whirring, maze of voices and keboards. The vocals are kind of buried in this part, but that doesn't detract from the song for me. It then rehashes the beggining and finishes. This song is just exploding with gg wierdness! My favourite, an awesome song by an awesome band!

'No god's a man" is another boring slow piece, and I don't call it boring just because it's slow. I find some slow music rather enjoyable, but not this. It is rather similar to aspirations, but a bit more tolerable. I just can't like this song no matter how hard I try (just like aspirations). You might like it, but this is just so far off from the interesting gg that created octopus and glass house. I always skip this song as well.

'The face' is where the album becomes interesting again. Thankfully, the album doesn't just loose it and veer off into oblivion! This song is reminiscent of 'in a glass house' from that album (previous album to this). it isn't as good as that song though...not even close! Even in my head, its melody is overshadowed by 'in a glass house'! It has time changes, varied rhythyms, and is complex, but the solo's detract from the song! horendous! I like insane violin soloing (ala larks' tongues pt. 2), but this solo ends short and falls on its face in the end. There is also a voice in the background where the solo ends that is very unconvincing and sounds forced. The guitar solo beggins with a bad feedback noise, something I heard somewhere earlier in the album. It ruins the whole solo for me. Why couldn't they have edited the sound better? Moving on, the bass player apparently misses a note toward the beggining of the song, which sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Suprised no one else mentioned it! This track is riddled with subtle 'mistakes' (I have no way of knowing whether they were or weren't intentional). A decent track, but should have been rehearsed more.

'Valedictory' is an interesting reprise to 'proclamation', this time being a bit 'heavier' with some guitar riffage. It is basically the same song played slower and cut in half timewise. It works well to close the album, completing the circle. I always like when progressive albums close the album with a repeated familiar theme (like was done on selling england by the pound). Always a good way to close an album, especially a concept album. A fine ending, but not terribly effective on its own.

In the end, this album leaves me feeling cold. I think this is the first time this has ever happened to me. I'm a fan of gg to be true, but i'm a little dissapointed with this album. It pales in comparison to its predecessor, as well as all of its predecessors. So sincere and cogs in cogs are all I really enjoy from this album. I hate to do this, but I must...3/5. It comes close to 4, but in the end, it is simply good, but non-essential. Sorry I had to do this gg, but you've had better days!

purplepiper | 3/5 |

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