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Gentle Giant - Interview CD (album) cover

INTERVIEW

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 680 ratings

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steamhammeralltheway
4 stars Make that 4.5 stars. Interview is a concept album based around the theme of the band interacting with the media. Some tracks are prefaced by a journalist asking the band a question and the band's muffled answer, which fades into songs. The theme and its aim to be satirical are both a bit subtle if the lyrics aren't read. The lyrics are quite revealing of the band's rocky relationship with a media that wasn't ready for a rock band this accomplished and musically elaborate. Interview, released in 1977 is the band's last inspired album before they went stale on Missing Piece.

The mellifluous title track commences the album. Fitting with the theme, there is artistic spoken word interwoven with the music like another instrument. There is also some German oompah band passages. Giant is just joyously zany here. Sometimes in the past their attempts a playfulness have come off geeky. Here these efforts are far more successful.

'Give it Back' is one of the best reggae-inspired songs I've ever heard. I tire easily of straight reggae and really appreciate how Giant incorporates it into art rock. They color it with disparate elements including their famous glockenspiel, here supportive of the song, rather than silly and interruptive, as it has been on past tracks.

There are couple ballads on this albums, a good thing, because these type of pieces show Giant's best songwriting. 'Empty City,' a semi-ballad, is one of the band's most soulful songs ever. Derek's voice has rarely been this moving, even though he's a first rate singer.

'Another Show' and 'Timing' have superb melodies, "I lost my Head," too, but there the focus is more on a very complex rhythm. This song, the album closer, really makes their last good effort memorable. The whole song just oozes rhythm and Kerry delivers a chillingly beautiful vocal. If the entire Giant experience could be summed up in one song, this might be it.

steamhammeralltheway | 4/5 |

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