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Gentle Giant - In A Glass House CD (album) cover

IN A GLASS HOUSE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.35 | 1117 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

wbiphoto
5 stars Over the years GG has become one of my favorite, if not my favorite, prog rock band. Their fusion of rock, jazz and classical is unmatched in the prog world. That being said, In a Glass House is one of my favorite records of all-time. But it wasn't love at first listen.

It took me several tries to fully appreciate In a Glass House. Other GG records took less time for me to get. Some of the earlier ones I was able to absorb during the first spin. But IAGH was one of the more challenging ones. Why was it so difficult to appreciate during initial spins? I think I fell victim to preconceived ideas based on earlier GG records. A mistake on my part and no fault of GG.

If there is ONE lesson to learn about GG's music: DO NOT make ANY assumptions as to what the music will sound like, or SHOULD sound like. If you stick to that formula, you are more likely to enjoy GG.

In a Glass House is really no more difficult than any other GG recording. In fact, it's actually one of the easier ones to get into if one understands what they were doing. What were they doing? GG were simply making a rock record! No more, no less. Not unlike any of their other records. Part of the GG mystique is that they basked in ultra complex compositions and unclassifiable music forms. That is true in many regards, but ultimately they are a rock band; a progressive rock band. If you keep that in mind and try to not make too much of their music you will enjoy IAGH immensely.

In a Glass House contains some of GG's most accessible pieces; straight rockers that'll make you tap your foot or get up and dance (ie The Runaway, Way of Life and the title track). On the other hand, you have a piece like Experience which flirts with dissonant jazz during the intro and weaves through various chamber-like interludes and ultimately rocks hard with searing vocals bordering on Peter Gabriel-like screaming, to only come back and hit you in the face with some tricky keys glued together by a simple guitar riff. If you had to play ONE GG song for an uninitiated listener as an intro to the Giant, Experience is a perfect choice, containing most elements that made the GG so unique.

One other element that stands out for me in this record is the bass. It's very prominent in the mix, much more so than on other GG release. Kudos to Ray Shulman for driving the songs and keeping them flowing seamlessly.

In a Glass House is an acquired taste, like any and all GG records, but certainly deserves the five star rating as a prog masterpiece.

wbiphoto | 5/5 |

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