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Gentle Giant - Three Friends  CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 848 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Draith
4 stars Let me start this review saying that Three Friends is one of the albums that helped develop my taste for progressive rock in the first place, and is probably the best introduction album to the band, and the band's best introduction album to progressive rock. Indeed, it is one of the more mainstream albums by Gentle Giant, but really, is that saying ANYTHING? No. It is more mellow overall, though it definitely has it's heavy moments, especially in Peel the Paint, one of my favorite Gentle Giant songs. Mainly it shows the band's potential for future albums, and though it is no In A Glass House, it is definitely up to par with many albums of it's time. It is also a bit more repetitive than any other album I've heard of theirs, but this is certainly not overdone, and the music progresses more gradually and flows very nicely as well. The lyrics are incredibly well produced for the most part, with great literary quality - representations of society and various personalities are uniquely portrayed, and several complex ideas such as the role of fate in our lives and the imbalance of wealth in a capitalist society are all introduced in this album. What's more, they incorporate parallels between what is happening with the music and the mood of the story that is presented lyrics, and I always appreciate that greatly when a band does this, especially to the extent that this album does. The atmospheric feel of this album overall is ingenious and does what music is suppose to do in the first place: communicate and portray emotions with music what words can barely hint at.

Only a few things prevent me from giving this album a masterpiece rating. It seems a bit too short, even by 1972's standards, and itself is a bit spread thin, less material devouring more time, though the material itself is really good. It is not quite as complex or enthralling as their two or three following albums, but it is a well written and produced album nonetheless.

Three Friends a conceptual album, as presented by Prologue, about three people who were very good friends and grow to end up in in different lifestyles and social classes. The three friends laugh and play during their childhood at their school, the happy time when we were feeling no care that many of us recollect with the distant memory of bliss from ignorance. Then the friends go their separate ways, pursuing careers and lifestyles into different social classes, and tell their tales in the following three tracks. The first is the somewhat uneducated blue collar worker, who spends his life in the lower class diggin' all day and never gettin' nowhere. Second is the artist, an emotional individual who severs himself from society to freely pursue his delicate craft. The third of the friends ended up the snobbish rich, high class, Mr. Class and Quality who makes his friends to achieve his own ends. This track leads into the conclusion of the album, Three Friends, an instrumental which is exactly three minutes long. Apparently, the band came up with the concept during a discussion of how many people we know in school surprise is with their interests or occupations afterwards.

I haven't yet heard an album of Gentle Giant that I would consider less than a four, and this great album is certainly included. If you've never heard Gentle Giant's music I suggest you buy this album first, either this or Free Hand. An excellent classic prog almost masterpiece for anyone who loves progressive rock period!

Draith | 4/5 |

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