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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.29 | 1701 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

poito
4 stars 3.8 stars. GG released two albums in the same year. It was not unusual in those years, many bands appeared to have an excess of creativity, or it may simply be that material that would have normally remained in the shelve for being too experimental, found a suitable audience in the late 60's and early 70's and they were pushed or forced to publish by the always insatiable industry. The first was Three Friends, which in my view marked the start of a new time for GG, when they finally forgave themselves for abandoning their origins and felt comfortable with what they were doing. The result was a bunch of near perfect themes, with highly inspired creative moments blended with melodic bits. This Octopus is similarly well crafted, and has some memorable themes like The Boys in the Band and the opening The Advent of Panurge. Other themes have won notable worship, like Knots, but even if it is impeccably crafted with a great combination of voices, it re-uses the style of the early albums by pioneers Yes and The Soft Machine, the latter a band that is poorly known by the growing Prog audience, but who undoubtedly was seedbed for bands like GG and most others of the time. Let's remember the mainstream Beat and R&B origins and musical breeding of the Shulman brothers far away from experimental music. A number of sounds and musical experiments are erroneously attributed to this and other bands. In fact, the Canterburian air that flies over GG most experimental compositions actually derive from Caravan and the Soft Machine early albums. Anyway, this Octopus is far more experimental than Three Friends, but the experiments are not all original, nor successful, in my view. Musicianship is however highly improved compared to former albums, and that makes this one sufficiently enjoyable to have it in the reachable shelves of your record library, near the Greats, but a step behind.
poito | 4/5 |

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