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Gentle Giant - Free Hand CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 1364 ratings

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Walkscore
4 stars Their Most Musical Album.

A pioneering band, Gentle Giant often put innovation above music, and some of their albums come across as pretentious as a result. While Free Hand doesn't vary too much from their previous formula, it is clear on this one they decided to prioritize the music. The album is more mature, more thoughtful, more humane, and more musical. While their previous albums were often a very mixed bag, on this album there are no off-putting tracks, and the album contains some of their very best songs. Of course there are the live favourites "Just the Same" and "Free Hand", but this album also contains probably their most successful and musical choral piece (with multiple overlapping choral lines, which is a style they practically invented and which still today is recognizable): "On Reflection". Awesome track. "Time to Kill" and "Talybont" contain similarly-styled instrumental jazz-guitar and medieval-English versions of this same formula, and they work really well here too. The last song ("Mobile") ends the album with a GG classic. This is the GG album that has stood the best test of time for me, even though I agree there are some flashes of brilliance on previous GG albums. I give this album 8.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |

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