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Gentle Giant - Free Hand CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 1358 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars One fo Gentl Giant's bst album (if not the best) and a personal favorite of mine. Sadly, it was also the last truly great efford by the band. Their next LP, Interview, would indicate the slow decline of this amazing group. But you can't tell this by Free Hand. Those guys were in top form, both as songwriters and as players. The richness of their music reachs absurd levels on this one. Yet they could concentrade their awesome defying musicanship and very elaborated arrangements in catchy, beautiful, 5 minute songs. Who elsse could have done this?

Although there are no fillers on this album, if one asked me the very highlight on Free hand I'd not hesitate to point On Reflection: the multi-layered, conterpointing voices on this tune is enough to turn the most relutant non beliver into a fan. It's a natural developement of the already incredible Knots (included on their other masterpiece Octopus). The instrumental section on this one is also of note. It's the kind of song I can hear over and over again and never have enough of it.

By the time they recorded Free hand the band had nothing to prove. So while most of their peers were doing bloated, over-pretentious, over-the-top, grand suites (and most of them losing themselves into that), GG kept their heads together and worked for the music. No long noodling, no ten minute solos. Yet, so few musicians could have even dreamed of doing such subtle, delicate and difficult performances. Each song encapsulates is a true mini opus.

Free Hand is the band's peak. While very demanding and challeging as all their earlier effords, it is also one fo the most pleasant and accessible. A joy to hear and a timeless piece of music that defies categorization even 30 years after its release. Essential for any prog lover. A truly masterpiece.

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |


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