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Gentle Giant - Free Hand CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 1358 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars If you're new to Gentle Giant, this is a great album to get into. It follows basically what progsters should expect out of their music; odd, complex compositions, lots of dynamic and stylistic changes, intricate vocal harmonies, unusual time signatures and the odd non-rock instrument here or there. FREE HAND has all of that stuff, and it's at least a decent album in that regard.

My problem is I don't like the prog rock I'm hearing to be ''expected''; I'd prefer some edgy ''twist'' that makes the music more interesting than perceived. Gentle Giant in the past was always has given me a fix in this respect, but FREE HAND wouldn't do that. To put it bluntly, the music here sounds rather forced. All of the metres, changes, instrumentations, etc. sound expected, losing a natural vibe to it that really can't be explained.

Maybe it's because after hearing three previous Gentle Giant albums, this one sounds just too ''ordinary'' by comparison; rather bland offering nothing adventurous for me. ''Free Hand'', ''Time to Kill'' and ''Mobile'' are all terrific songs, but they lack a certain creative spark that ignited things like ''The Runaway'' or ''The Boys in the Band''. There's plenty of good music here that newbie progsters will enjoy thoroughly and objectively speaking, FREE HAND has high prog credentials. However, if you've heard other earlier albums by this group, this one will sound like a slight disappointment.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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