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Gentle Giant - Free Hand  CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 949 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Perhaps I'm missing something, or perhaps after years of familiarity with this album, something has not yet fully "grown" on me. However, ss of now, I just don't view Free Hand as great album by any means. In fact, I believe I prefer each album that came before it. In addition, nothing from this album would crack my top 10--maybe even 15 or 20--all time Gentle Giant songs.

Does that make this a bad album, or an album not worth having? Definitely not! There is plenty of solid nu-Giant to be found here, and it still has that unique Giant quirkiness.

Highlights: Just the Same, His Last Voyage, Mobile, Talybont. Again, these are simply good, not great, songs to my ears. The opener is fun, with some syncopated finger snaps throughout, and containing a pleasant, soothing mellotron mid-section. His Last Voyage is at its core a very simple song--particularly considering the band--but it is nicely paced, with nice use of vibraphone (I think that's what it is at least!). Mobile might be the most classic Giant song on here, with a free-flowing happiness that is lessened in their later albums.

There are no dud songs on here, but the rest simply hasn't grabbed me as of yet. The title track strikes me as very repetitive, and here Derek's voice is a bit grating for me. On Reflection is one of the reasons we love the Giant--adventurous and creative. This is certainly not Knots II, but unfortunately sounds a bit overproduced (at least the vocal rounds) and perhaps forced. Still a fun song regardless.

Free Hand is never great, but overall quite solid. Maybe I'll come to regard it higher over time, but for now, this does not rank up with Gentle Giant's best.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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