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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1062 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars My impression is that Gentle Giant has such high ratings here, not because they are held in uniformly high esteem, au contraire, but because, to the many who dislike them, they are very hard to listen to enough to do a proper review! Hence, while the proportion of fans who review albums is high anyway, in Gentle Giant's case this ratio is higher still. I mean, even if you loathe Styx, you can probably review "Equinox" pretty easily. I dug back into my old unloved vinyl section to find a suitable GG recording, because, after all, if they are not part of the big 6 or 7, they are probably in prog's top 10, and I have committed to at least one review from each.

What we have here is fewer dissonant expressions than the band was known for, and less in then way of hebephrenic vocals, so what we gain in listenability (minimal) we lose in originality (considerable). It's a very mundane prog rock album rather typical for its time, with dated jazzy elements, and not one that has flourished in the post-prog era. Even the concept was pedestrian, but then so were some of the premises put out by more widely appealing contemporaries - it was in their execution that they easily ouflanked the Giant.

"Prologue" does contain some mildly interesting vocal interplay in among the undistinguished rhythms, but it doesn't go anywhere, which maybe is the link between this and other Giant records. At other times the sparsely accompanied voice sounds so alone, like an adult child forever fearing abandonment. The title cut provides some redemption, with its Crimson-esque rumblings followed by dramatic church organ sound. It's definitely too little too late, and not enough to justify anything more than a weak two star effort.

I'll probably lose more than three virtual friends with this review, but to paraphrase GG and their claim to probably prog rock's most pretentious statement, I need to push the boundaries of those who care to review GG albums to include a few non-fans, at the risk of being unpopular.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |

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