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

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1453 ratings

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steamhammeralltheway
5 stars I'm so glad I have known about this amazing album for over a year. It is so strong, and to me speaks the beautiful essence of Giant. I think one thing that makes this click and others fall is that there is very little disorienting atonal/ 12 tone work here. Most 12 tone work by any artist is jarring because the scale has little emotional appeal. Music majors forced to endure it report torture. I am in almost total agreement, unless the band is going to take special effort to shape it as on "Edge of Twilight" (Acquiring the Taste).

Power's opener, "Proclamation" is a multi-faceted, high developed epic with a number of memorable passages featuring different instruments and rhythms. It kind of unravels like a twisting, winding road with many surprises. A more perfect song by any band would be hard to find.

"So Sincere" rolls out moodier than anything Giant has ever done. This is a needed change of pace. This is probably one of their most psychedelic songs and one with a high amount of counterpoint. Really it's too intricate to properly describe in words..

"Aspirations" is my favorite Giant song, a ballad of course. They are the masters of those. I don't usually pay lyrics any mind, but this one is too angelic to ignore. The delicate vocal (Kerry) coupled with the electric piano accompaniment and the heavy, heavy bass and drums make this one of prog's true gems.

Just when you thought things were too good to be true already, arrives "Playing the Game." Again it's hard to describe, being such a unique one. There's a nifty riff working it's way throughout, I'm not even sure on what instruments: guitar? synthesizer? And there's also a subtle secondary "answer" on a different type of synthesizer. Thus closes side one, a sterling piece of work.

I'm not sure if I ever heard side two prior to this review. The complexity of "Cogs into Cogs" is pretty mind-blowing, on top of which emerges an excellent and quite nuanced melody. The band is so mature and committed at this point.

"No God's a Man" starts with an interplay of Renaissance and jazz elements. Again it's understated in contrast to all the in- your-face annoyance this band has served up over the years.

"The Face" is particularly creative and melodic. It is a little more uptempo and rich than what Giant has ever before offered. The Renaissance flavor is very strong. But then it moves in a rocky, totally unprecented direction, very smoothly of course.

"Valedictory" is a boogie rocker but with that Giant whimsy fans know only too well. The song is actually a spacy reprise of "Proclamations." After all Power and Glory is a concept album. And then, rather than ending, the song self-destructs. There you have it: one of the greatest all-time art rock achievements.

steamhammeralltheway | 5/5 |

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