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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 1120 ratings

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steamhammeralltheway
4 stars Make that 4.5 stars. This is one of Giant's more subtle and complex albums and thus hard for me to get into. I think I finally cracked the code and it was well worth it. Let's start from the start. "Prologue" is superbly crafted. It starts splendidly with melody delivered on piano and sung, the vocals becoming both more sensitive and psychedelic (love that echo!) as the song progresses. Synthesizer accents are passionate. Phil's lower register, slightly conversational vocal delivery later in the song is a great contrast to the band's generally sweeter vocals. Late in the song, the theme music repeats sparingly, keeping the listener riveted. Then a solo clearly takes off from the theme, creating great coherence.

The title track i salso great. It is more of a mediational piece where melody isn't immediately obvious, but it's there. The song is as lush as a garden in full bloom.

"Peal the Paint" is completely brilliant. One special quality is the tinkling high piano notes in the background, providing the subtlest of texture. The violin part had a classical concerto feel and moved me deeply in places. The musical lines feel like brush strokes. Then the piece launches into an antithetically raucous rock section.

'Schooldays" opening xylophone has a pentatonic Far Eastern flair. Then the echoey canonical vocals begins very psychedelically . I'm not sure what instrumentation comprises the rest of song, but it has incredible depth and beauty. The same can be said of the contrapuntal strings and voices on "Schooldays" I believe the guitar and bass lines there are unison. This adds a measure of intensity.

steamhammeralltheway | 4/5 |

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