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Gentle Giant - Civilian CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

2.75 | 393 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Well, small wonder they decided to call it quits after this one. I really don´t understand why so many people are so critical to Giant For A Day and so full of praise (ok, kind of) for Civilian. GFAD was far from being one of their best, but at least it had some fine pop songs on it. Civilian on the other side dropped the explicit pop format for a more hard edge commercial approach (for 1980) which was clearly not their forte. Hearing the CD today it sounds like they were just too eager to please. Most songs seemed forced, boring and/or uninspired.

Granted. Gentle Giant is one fo those very rare bands incapable of recording a bad album: their unbelievable musicanship is intact, and Derek Shulman is an extraordinaire singer. As weak as the songs were, GG was still able to squeeze life and energy from it. It is ironic that the best track, Shadows of The Street was sung by Kerry Minnear. It reminded me, briefly, of how good GG could be. The remaining songs have the loudest guitars and drums ever heard on their albums, ever. But that was not enough to save Civilian.

In the end I guess they had to do something in order to survive in a totally different musical scene of the late 70´s and early 80´s. But, sadly or not, it didn´t work. Thank God they had at least left several brilliant prog albums for future generations to rediscover their outstanding and groundbreaking art. Civilian is not among them, of course, but it is not crap either. Just be sure you have all their previous CDs before you tackle this one, and have in mind what kind of musical scene they were facing at the time it was released.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |


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