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


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1671 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Looking for something angular, precise, quirky, challenging, shiny, heavy and original? If so, witness the power and the glory of Gentle Giant! It just doesn't get any better than this!

Conversely, if you are looking for something smooth, loose, intuitively melodious, warm, easy and comfortable, it doesn't get much worse. But seriously, rating Gentle Giant down for not being warm or easy is like rating "Filet Mignon" down because it isn't as cold or as sweet ice cream. It is to 'miss the point' entirely.

Gentle Giant packs more musical ideas into a 3 to 6 minutes song than most bands include in an entire album side. This album is the perfect antidote to the "same old ? same old" musical blahs.

Complex rhythms demand your attention as the melody jaunts in pleasantly unexpected directions on the opener "Proclamation". Our political protagonist appears to be campaigning, taking credit for the good things that have happened even while using fear of the unknown as motivation for his continuation of power.

The bold harmonic vision of "So Sincere" is as challenging as it is rewarding. It is in this song that we discover how insincere our politician is. The chorus' repetition of the phrase "So Sincere" is as sarcastic as its last line is interrupted as the truth is suddenly made clear on the last line: "So Sin".

The frame of reference shifts for "Aspirations". Kerry Minnear, singer for the majority of the subtle and beautiful vocals in the Gentle Giant canon, provides lead vocals on this song of optimistic, if misplaced, hope in this leader.

Our politician is self aggrandizing and overconfident as complex rhythms and counterpoint rule the day on the song "Playing the Game".

It is only right that "Cogs in Cogs" should exude an unusually angry energy, for this is the song in which our politician falls from the public grace. Because the song's omniscient narrator wisely refrains from providing too much detail surrounding a specific offense or shortcoming, the cautionary tale remains applicable to any number of historic circumstances.

Derek shows that he can sing softly too as he laments that "No God's a Man". Despite our na´ve desire to believe that the people leading us are somehow super-ethical, super- caring, super-human, their "truth is only halfway true, the man is only a man". Our politician is instructed to publicly weep, to accept (some measure of) responsibility, and to issue apologies.

And so he "shows the face that is sorry" taking blame even as he "takes his bows". The people are calling but no longer are they calling for his punishment. We end with Valedictory. Our protagonist is campaigning again. "Yes, this problem is partly my fault but I still have the power and influence to right the ship. You must believe me when I tell you that I may have been misguided at times, but all my mistakes were made for you and with the best of intentions. We can make it through this together?"

Beware: Some CD reissues include a "title track" which was not on the original album. The World Wide Associates record company was demanding a marketable single-from the band. In temporary acquiescence, GG recorded three songs which Ray Schulman later would describe as "atrocious". Reportedly, "The Power and the Glory" was the worst of the three ? so according to "Murphy's Law", it was naturally the song that WWA most enthusiastic embraced. It was even temporarily released as a single ? until Gentle Giant's remorse led them to demand that it be taken off the market.

progpositivity | 5/5 |


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