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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 1254 ratings

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3 stars Right from their debut, Gentle Giant created an entirely new & original blend of music, a quirky mix of prog, hard-rock, blues, classical music, Beatles, King Crimson and boundless eccentricity.

Gentle Giant wasn't love at first sight for me, together with Zappa they managed to introduce themselves either at the wrong time or with an album inappropriate for the novice. Spurred on by the piles of raving reviews on PA, I've been giving them another round during the last year. The outcome this time is a pile of albums scheduled to be hailed with raving reviews! As it turned out, a recommended way to approach the Giant is by taking one step at the time. Not in random fashion but by starting from the debut and continuing from there, one album at the time, waiting with growing anticipation for each new acquisition, as if the albums were being released right now.

Like the best of progressive rock, this is liberated rock music; there are no limits to how a song may develop. And while Gentle Giant mostly write short tracks, the possibilities they explore are endless. A five minute piece from them easily has more twists and turns and adventures then other artists manage in an entire career. They also excel at keeping things tight and rigorous, allowing no room for excesses or indulgencies from any particular member of the band. Each of the first 4 songs are great examples of their huge competence and inspiration. The remaining 3 sound less accomplished to me, the extensive Nothing at All has lots of compelling moments but loses focus due to an ill-fitting drum solo, the 70's blues-rock of Why Not? sounds a bit aged to me and pales against the more original music around it. The national anthem imitation of The Queen doesn't sound all that exciting neither.

Judging this album as the starting point that it was, it's been a most pleasant discovery. I might downgrade it to 3.5 stars when I work my way further down their discography, but for now, it's a gentle 4 stars.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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