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Gracious - Gracious ! CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 182 ratings

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3 stars Yikes! What have we got here?

Gracious was an early seventies' Mellotron, standard keys and guitar based symphonic prog band whose influences run the gauntlet from the Moody Blues to early Zappa/Mother's of Invention. Near virtuoso players, their scattershot approach works well, on this suite like album, with the more friendly Moody's like fare and the group's near Beach Boy's harmonies, while a pastiche, do shine. Where Gracious go wrong is on extended studio manipulated dissonant sound experiments (like early Mother's of Invention) and the band's fascination with tight repetitive bass, keys and drum rhythms that seem to go on forever and, worse yet, seem to go nowhere.

What does work well for Gracious is that they seemed to have foreshadowed (by 20 years) Robert Fripp's obnoxiously harsh toned math like guitar playing, which would have worked better if it was not surrounded by second rate Zappa like satirical lyrics. I'm not a big fan of Zappa's inane social critiques, but Frank did them first and a thousand times better.

I can't recommend more than two and a half stars, rounded to three, for GRACIOUS(!). Perhaps their follow up album issued one year later will be more focused and original. Time will tell, as I'm getting ready to give that a disc a spin in due time.

SteveG | 3/5 |


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