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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory  CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1010 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is an indecently brilliant album, even with the Shulman's pubescent voice-cracking. A gift from the Prog gods, Gentle Giant's only fault was not structuring their music for a larger audience. But if they had rearranged things just a bit, this LP might have been huge and given them that breakthrough moment. Somehow the title cut, a track that would've carried their appeal while bringing the other fantastic material along with it, was left off the original release and only made available as a single. But in 1974 it would've been a strong, radio-friendly power anthem and made for a nice inclusion, and a due moment for them and the Prog-buying public. Evidently the group wouldn't hear of it and I suppose one can only applaud their integrity.

Each piece is loaded with inventive energy and unexpected directions; the weird angles and flashes of blackness in 'Proclamation' as nu jazz dances with something else entirely. The oh-so-bizarre 'So Sincere' and its circular "everything I say is a lie" logic, Kerry Minnear's tingling keyboards and Gary Green's howling blues guitar. Soothing 'Aspirations' featuring Shulman's weary-traveler vocals. The forgettable bobbing of 'Playing the Game' gives way to a jazzy refrain buoyed by Minnear's grinding organ. And 'Cogs in Cogs' is just spectacular, everything working for them here; great beats, soaring vocals, deliriously good counterpoint and inspired, many-layered composition... spellbinding. This is where fans of Yes and even Kansas might start to find new pleasures. 'No God's a Man' drags a little but rolls along cleverly, and 'The Face' is rambunctious prog driving forward with Ray's unstoppable bass and unorthodox violin. The standard Giant reprise in 'Valedictory' and 'The Power and the Glory' is, as mentioned above, a great, catchy bit of Queen-meets-Kansas arena rock, a sure FM winner and sadly never given a chance. A spectacular album nonetheless, and continuously surprising.

Atavachron | 5/5 |

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