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Gentle Giant - Free Hand  CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1013 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In my top four of favourite GENTLE GIANT records. This is very accessible music and at the same time intricate and complex. The band interplay is jaw-dropping at times, and the collage of sounds that seems to be perfectly timed and placed proves this point.

"Just The Same" opens with what sounds like someone snapping their fingers. Such a catchy tune with the guitar and keys intertwining. After 2 minutes we get a calming interlude with synths until the main melody returns after 4 minutes. "On Reflection" features some of those incredible vocal arrangements that they are famous for. I was also reminded of YES a couple of times with the harmonies that follow. The song changes 2 minutes in as Minnear sings with his reserved vocals. I love this part of the song. Some great instrumental work to end the song including the drumming 5 minutes in. "Free Hand" reminds me of "Just The Same" with the fantastic band interplay,as well as how catchy it is. The piano is impressive, as are the strange keyboard sounds.

"Time To Kill" is another accessible, melodic song.This really is a feel good song with harmonies to boot. Some good guitar after 3 minutes. "His Last Voyage" is one of my all time favourite GENTLE GIANT songs. There is something about Minnear's vocals that draw me in, and I don't want to leave. Again the intricate collage of sounds is a highlight. Check out the guitar 4 minutes in as the drums and piano play on. Lots of xylophone on this track as well.The original melody comes back to end it. "Talybont" is apparently the name of a forest in Wales. The song has a Celtic flavour to it. Recorder, keys and guitar lead the way. These last two songs bring down my opinion of this album a notch, not a fan of either really. "Mobile" is all about the violin melodies. Vocals sound processed 2 1/2 minutes in.

A solid 4 star record to be sure, and in the upper half of their first eight studio albums.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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