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Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste CD (album) cover

ACQUIRING THE TASTE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 1037 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Acquiring the Taste" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act . The album was released through Vertigo Records in July 1971. The lineup who recorded the debut album is intact, but thereīs been little time for lineup changes as there are only 7― months between the release of the bandīs debut album and "Acquiring the Taste". "Acquiring the Taste" was produced by prolific producer Tony Visconti.

While the debut album was both an adventurous and progressive blues tinged rock album, "Acquiring the Taste" takes the bandīs progressive and experimental ideas a step further. As always the multi-instrumentalist nature of most of the members of Gentle Giant, provides the music with a rich flavor of sounds and possibilities. In addition to regular rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and vocals, the music on "Acquiring the Taste" also features electric piano, piano, organ, mellotron, vibraphone, Moog, piano, celeste, clavichord, harpsichord, tympani, maracas, cowbells, alto & tenor sax, clarinet, trumpet, claves, violin, viola, electric violin, Spanish guitar, tambourine, 12 string guitar and organ bass pedals. The many different instruments are integrated succesfully in the bandīs eclectic progressive rock sound, which one moment will sound like you are listening to a medieval group playing on a market square and the next moment will have you think that Gentle Giant is a hard rock act, and the next will have you think of jazz rock, classical music, avant garde rock, blues or progressive rock. Needless to say the music is very eclectic in nature but fortunately also very cleverly composed with rearranged recurring themes, intricate rhythms, and also delivered with what sounds like comfortable ease.

...and I havenīt even begun to mention the vocal part of the music yet, and that is yet another great asset to the bandīs sound. Most lead vocals are sung by Derek Shulman who has a rough hard rock type delivery, but all tracks feature elaborate choirs, harmony- and backing vocals and many tracks also feature the delicate and high pitched lead vocals of Kerry Minnear.

While Gentle Giant are certainly more skilled than your average music group, and they have no problem flashing those skills whenever they get the chance, a lot of the bandīs charm stems from the fact that everything they do is delivered with a tongue in cheek humour, that works really well for them. They strike just the right balance between pretentious virtuosity and oddball humour. Tracks like "Pantagruel's Nativity", "Wreck", and "Edge of Twilight" are absolutely brilliant to my ears but the whole album is entertaining on so many different levels.

"Acquiring the Taste" is not an easy album to get into. Because of the eclectic nature of the music it requires many spins and an open mind, but if youīre prepared to invest the time needed and is able to appreciate an album that shifts musical style and direction often and sometimes in a bit inconsistent fashion, "Acquiring the Taste" might prove to be your poison. Itīs certainly both well produced, well played, and very cleverly written, and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating isnīt all wrong.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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