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Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste CD (album) cover

ACQUIRING THE TASTE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1368 ratings

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Walkscore
3 stars Innovative, Quirky yet also Bluesy.

On Acquiring the Taste, Gentle Giant experiment with new sounds, textures, and time signatures, of all kinds, but within the framework of the 3-to-7 minute rock song as per their debut. Clearly innovative and original, the result is not always musical, although it is so original it is worth listening to even when it doesn't fully work. The opener, Pantagruel's Nativity, is one of the better tracks, quite varied, but true to the GG sound. Edge of Twilight, the second track, is very quiet and nuanced, but despite trying hard to be novel and liked, is not very musical. The third track, "The House, The Street, the Room" is one of GG's instantly-recognizable great tracks. While pushing the vocals a touch, the melody is memorable, with a classic bluesy guitar solo, and really cool quirky medieval-tinged instrumental breaks. The title track is actually a short orchestral piece (with many of the orchestral instruments apparently played by synths), of the kind of multiple overlapping lines that GG has become known, although in this case it is mostly a forgettable experiment. "Wreck" is another classic GG tune, with a sea shanty-like verse structure, and quieter choral-medieval breaks. The feel of "Wreck" continues with "The Moon is Down", but with even more harmonies, and a really fantastic middle jazzy-instrumental section, and then again with "Black Cat" which also has a wonderful (quirky, not jazzy) instrumental middle section. The album ends with another gutsy-rocker "Plain Truth" built around guitar riffs and harmonies, with a nice violin solo, although the song is less memorable that the middle tracks on the album. On the whole, Acquiring the Taste is (slightly) more musical than both GG's debut and "Three Friends" that would follow, although of course they would become even more innovative later on, but in doing so they would lose a bit of the bluesy and gutsy side of their sound in the process. I give this album 7.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translate to (high) 3 PA stars.

Walkscore | 3/5 |

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