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

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1010 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Their Power, their Glory, and the Story:

In A Glass House had made a radical change in the composition/song-writing style with the loss of Phil Shulman, introducing more Moog and interludes of acoustic guitar and electric guitar, rather than the ''classic'' Gentle Giant sound in the style of Octopus or Three Friends, with a lot of medieval influences, as well as experimenting quite a lot. With The Power & The Glory they completely ''erase'' In a Glass House' one-time only style *forever*, which by the way, was an excellent album though a bit forced. Anyway this phase(74-76) what really sparks is the atmosphere/climax's of the compositions and moods of each, rather than the ''simple logic'' of being complex. Also this 'phase' of GG, is free of experimentalism, which this doesn't mean they're less complex, on the contrary, they've matured so much from the experimental phase of Three Friends/Acquiring the Taste, that now(well already in In a Glass House or even Octopus) they know how to write complex music without making 'stupid' mistakes(ELP rings a bell), but what really differences this album from ALL the others is that their complexity disminishes as just as a fact of ''Hey look, they can make impossible things, but the music is barely listenable'', and now is where you really enjoy the music as music, meant to express feelings and create certain climax which you can feel comfortable of, rather than listening the music because of certain solo or complex arrangement. Just a thought, though.

Now back to the review, you can think of TP&TG as Octopus but without any conventional rock cliche or something that grabs you from the first listen. The crazy, complex vocal harmonies are here, but with a listenable composition(what I said in the last sentence of the first paragraph), which really clicks after some listens, which this was not the case of Knots in Octopus. Also Kerry's organ and rhodes really shines, which will fortunately continue in their next album, Free Hand, but there will also be some stunning moog, so it's a different story, hehe. Just in case: I don't think Octopus as a bad album, I think it's superb, but just trying to let you know, somehow, which is the style of this album.

Also, as far as I'm concerned, the medieval influence, while obviously always present, sounds more electric and modern, which is far more bareable rather than the, somewhat annoying, acoustic or vocal medieval interfaces that were in their previous albums. Which this is again, part of what I meant on the last sentence of the first paragraph, Gentle Giant does not want to ''create Prog'', just their style of music which is exactly this, which in the case of In a Glass House they did create a ''true Prog album'', in the sense of FOCUSING in the mood variations, time changes, musicianship virtuosism, etc, of course this is by no means bad, something excellent for Prog fans, as I am, but sometimes you want to take a break of that type of Prog, and this album just does it for me, as Jazz and other music of the sort would do. Obviously not the whole album is like this, but in a general view that's what I think, because there still are present some 'Prog' tracks with the meaning I mentioned before, like Cogs in Cogs, So Sincere and Valedictory, but you get my point, hope so... The other tracks are what make this album so original(from their other albums).

The Power and the Glory gives you GG's complete song-writing/composition power, which can also be heard in In a Glass House, however their complete glory as amazing musicians of expressing music in a totally unique way, that no other band has done, is only in this album.

Masterpiece: not my favorite, but definitely their song-writing/expression peak.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |

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