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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1869 ratings

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5 stars Gentle Giant's most accessible and fun release: 9/10

My first GENTLE GIANT album, from the time I began to venture into prog. Back then I was so foolish I dismissed CLOSE TO THE EDGE as "yeah, kinda cool", but even that dumb kiddo was able to perceive on his first listen the quality of this band which would, fast forward a year, become his favorite. In every way, I consider it a great introduction to GG.

There's a reason why this is eclectic prog: because there are too many influences and sounds to be simply "x prog" or "y prog". For as much as prog is all about trespassing labels, some bands still sound distinctively more influenced by a certain style; this doesn't happen with GENTLE GIANT in any way. Each song is absolutely unique to itself, harnessing their own influence and style. GENTLE GIANT still sounds like prog rock but branching to directions that are impossible to label.

We can see delicious symphonic pieces influenced by medieval music such as Raconteur, Troubadour; medievalesque folk such as Dog's Life; bluesy demonstrations such as The Boys in the Band - which really sounds like a mixture of the remnants of GG's previous hard rock influenced prog with this newer grandiose keyboards-driven style debuted here; the intimate (superficial) simplicity and warmness of Think of Me With Kindness; some really intricate keyboards & guitar work both melodically and rhythmically in Cry For Everyone or the astoundingly difficult Knots, whose vocal layers constantly overlap and complement themselves on a disorientating delirium.

From lush keyboards to xylophonic ventures, OCTOPUS literally seems played by a poliappendaged being: many things happening in different layers which ultimately all converge into euphonic melodies of all shapes and forms. It also just doesn't give time for repetition: the songs are always changing, featuring varying sections on frenetic speed. And as always, the lyricism is on top of their game. It wouldn't be a stretch to call those guys Modernist poets, they are able to output beautifully crafted verses paralleled to very few contemporaneous bands.

In the end, music is both art and entertainment. GENTLE GIANT isn't pinnacling on OCTOPUS artistically (musicianship-wise). They would only do so in the form of a raw unparalleled complexity of their next two albums. However, what these two albums excel in virtuosity OCTOPUS excels in enjoyability. Not only it is lighthearted and fresh, it is enjoyable, vibrant, cheerful and polychromatic on a lovely level that wouldn't be attained ever again by the GG. Their most accessible and fun release, hands down.

I will make you laugh, Revel, Merry-dance. Throw your pennies, then you'll hear more of the story-telling half

Luqueasaur | 5/5 |


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