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Gentle Giant - Free Hand  CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 982 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

wbiphoto
5 stars Every top prog band has their ULTIMATE masterpiece. Their magnum opus, if you will.

Yes has Close to the Edge, King Crimson has In the Court of the Crimson King, Genesis has Selling England by the Pound and....... Gentle Giant has Free Hand.

This is GG's last great album and it is their VERY BEST. Some bands give us their best toward the beginning of their careers. GG waited until their seventh release to give the world a CERTIFIABLE MASTERPIECE. I won't stop there, and say that Free Hand should be among the top ten prog records of all-time. It's THAT GREAT!

What's always stood out above everything else in all of GG's catalog is the keyboard work and the vocals. Kerry Minnear is an incredibly talented keyboardist who should go down in history as one of THE MOST prominent and influential musicians in the world of prog rock(and perhaps one of the most underrated). Possessing impeccable timing and being a master of contrapuntal harmonies the vocal talents and inventiveness of Derek Shulman are without peer.

That being said, on no other GG album are these two men so tight and so perfect. Their creative and collaborative genius flows from one piece to the next with seamless precision setting a standard that has yet to be matched since this quintessential release made its way to our ears back in 1975.

The album possesses a very positive and upbeat quality that never gets close to being silly or too jolly to be dismissed as less than serious music. GG managed to create an energetic and rocking jazz-like album that is BY NO MEANS a pop record, nor is it so inaccessible or dark that it will only attract the very pensive and reclusive listeners. This record hits the spot in a very positive emotional sense. It'll make you feel GOOD!

The ONLY knock against this album is that it leaves the listener wanting MORE. It's very short by today's standards. But it's not the length of the album alone that leaves me wanting more, but the OUTSTANDING QUALITY of the compositions. I want the music to never stop!

Free Hand is a MASTERPIECE OF THE HIGHEST ORDER and a MUST HAVE for any serious progger. Among the VERY BEST of THE BEST!

wbiphoto | 5/5 |

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