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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1260 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

natewait
4 stars This album is very special to me because it is the first prog album I ever heard and the one that hooked me into progressive rock. I love Gentle Giant, I think they are one of the most creative and talented bands of all time, and this album is a great statement of what Gentle Giant was all about. It contains 8 songs and each one is a gem in its own little way. I love how Gentle Giant doesn't have to have big long epics in order to showcase all their progressive elements. Let's go through the eight wonderful tracks one by one:

1. The Advent of Panurge is one of my favorite Gentle Giant songs of all time and includes all the wonderful elements that makes me love this band. There is singing by both Kerry Minnear and Derek Shulman. There is some wonderful vocal interplay. There is some great grooving and jazzy moments. It has a medieval feel to it that makes it a lot of fun. It is just a joyful song to listen to.

2. Raconteur Troubadour probably wouldn't be out of place at a renaissance faire. There is some wonderful violin work that really stands out to me. This is probably my least favorite track of the album, but I still enjoy it emmensely, which shows how great this album truly is.

3. A Cry For Everyone really rocks! There is some great guitar on top of a rocking beat. There is even room for some keyboard soloing in the middle before the band kicks back in. I know not everyone is a fan, but I really like Derek's voice and feel it is one of the most unique voices in prog.

4. Knots is a masterpiece of progressive rock. This is what made my ears perk up when I first heard the album. The song features the trademark vocal counterpoints along with some xylophone and violin. It creates an almost haunting effect that is beautiful and unique. I love the xylophone solo, something that is not often heard in rock. This is why I love Gentle Giant, they are truly like no other band- unique in every sense of the word. There are also moments that are epic and rock hard. This song has it all in only four minutes! I'm just blown away by this song.

5. The Boys In The Band is a rocking instrumental that starts with a laugh and the spinning of a coin. When the coin finally lands flat after spinning, the band kicks in and gives one rocking performance. This is a great song with some great organ and saxophone on top of a great groove laid down by John Weathers. Very good stuff.

6. A Dog's Life shows the bands sense of humor, and the lyrics are funny. The acoustic guitar is very unique as well as the violin. It perhaps isn't the most complicated Gentle Giant song, but it is still fun and an enjoyable listen.

7. Think of Me With Kindness gives Kerry Minnear a chance to shine as his beautiful voice and keyboard skills are highlighted. For those who say there is no emotion in Gentle Giant's music, I would have them listen to this which drips of pure emotion and really gets to me every time I hear it.

8. The RIver almost evokes the feel of Southern Rock with its electric guitar and violin. Once again, this song showcases all the great elements of what makes Gentle Giant such a special band. There is some great drum soloing towards the end by John Weathers and a great guitar solo. All in all a great finish to an incredible album.

This album begins what I feel is Gentle Giant's holy trinity of albums. I can not deny the influence this album has had on my life by introducing me to prog rock which has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I feel Gentle Giant stated their purpose simply through this album and made 8 songs full of beauty and complexity that really showcased everything they were about. I think this album is a great place to start for anyone wanting to get into Gentle Giant.

natewait | 4/5 |

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