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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant  CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 820 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kristo68
4 stars I cannot believe that I was so daft as to let the experience of Gentle Giant's music escape me for 37 years! However, since discovering them via "Acquiring the Taste" the turntable / CD player is seldom idle and I've become a GG bore like with no other band before. Every GG album I've purchased along the way suffers, initially, by comparison with my first love - "Acquiring the Taste" - and this album was no exception. Repeated listenings have shown me the error of my initial assessment. "Funny Ways", for example is a pleasant-enough, plaintive ballad until another dimension is added with the instrumental verse, with Gary's searing guitar, the brass and understated (sic!) Mellotron. "Isn't it Quiet & Cold " has a Palm Court Orchestra style about it, sashaying by divertingly with Ray's violin a highlight. "Why Not" rocks out as well, Derek's impassioned vocal distinguishing it from other bands of the era. But for me the highlight is the titular piece. The instrumental section, where the "choir" and brass take over and develop the melody introduced by the organ at the beginning of the song is simply awe-inspiring. Why can't other prog be this good?! As good as subsequent GG albums were, this is where the ground was laid for the bizarre masterpiece that was "AtT". Martin Smith's drumming is nimble and inventive and the band fires on all cylinders throughout, with the possible exception of "Alucard" which is silly and pointless and robs the album of a 5th star. My stock answer to the question "What do GG sound like?" is to say that they sound all at once like Jethro Tull, VdGG, Procol Harum and The Moody Blues with all the naff bits removed and yet, at the same time, nothing like any of those bands. The explanatory power of that statement being exactly zero, requiring them to listen for themselves. And that is the greatest gift!
kristo68 | 4/5 |

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