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


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1423 ratings

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Jeff Carney
2 stars 'Aspirations' may well be one of the most brilliant songs Giant ever produced, but I'm sad to say that if it weren't for that particular masterpiece, I might be tempted to give this album only one star. The reason fis that I cannot imagine who, besides the most committed Gentle Giant fan, would find this music to be appealing.

Yep, this is another album that will surely appeal to Giant enthusiasts who are willing accept nearly anything the band throws at them, but unless one is impressed by complexity with all the musical appeal of nails on a chalkboard, much of this album will leave you longing for some Crosby Stills Nash and Young to clear out your head. This album, for the most part, is a perfect example of why a lack of great songs will always set an album back for me, no matter how many tricks within a compositional approach are thrown in. Make no mistake, Giant are exceptional composers, and that's on display here, it's just that by this point they are often so lost as to how to make something out of it that isn't just music for those who say: 'Oh wow, what cool little change that was!' or Did you hear that counterpoint going on in that section!?.' I suspect to an average rock listener, they'd figure that Zappa already covered similar territory years before this, so why insist on making music in this fashion? I can see past such a simple analogy, but the problem is that if someone were to actually make that analogy as a newcomer to this album, I'd *understand* it.

Some great ideas are present, but the band continues to push the limits of reason with the vocal approach. I mean, really ... 'Cogs in Cogs?' Don't people find this a bit hard to take? Hearing Derek Schulman push his pipes to the edge is not exactly a charming 'experience' to my ears. Even the repeating of 'So Sincere' 'So Sincere' during the song of the same name makes me wonder if people actually listen to this stuff and get *into* it, or just sort of made the decision that they loved Giant and *went* with it from there. There is a difference.

I understand being a committed fan and buying up the catalog of a beloved artist, but the ridiculosly high ratings for this one and IaGH make no sense to me. I do absolutely love the single, but unfortunately the Capitol release, which is the very best sounding version I have heard of this album on CD (I've also heard the One Way and the DRT, but not the Terrapin) doesn't include it as a bonus track.

Jeff Carney | 2/5 |


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