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Gentle Giant - Free Hand  CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1021 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

frippism
3 stars I'm sitting here and thinking about this album. And I think, well it's nice and all, but it's far from GG's best. But then I think of the songs individually, and none of them are bad at all. They're quite quirky and catchy and yet pure GG. But I think the problem lies with the fact that they are catchy. I've always had this ethos- a good prog album is never good on the first listen. I loved this album from the very beginning, and listened to it quite a lot. Now I think that just about after the 20th listen is when things started to get a bit tiring. The hooks that are here are starting to get annoying. But there are definitely some very big positive points: The much talked about "On Reflection" is amazing, and the Capella beginning is one of the most creative things heard in progressive rock. The starting track "Just The Same" I still rather enjoy, but it too is a bit filled with hooks. The two tracks that really annoy me are the title track and "Time To Kill". This tracks are just a bit too, well, "rock". It misses a bit of the things that make GG unique and are both again, filled with a bunch of hooks. "His Last Voyage" is actually really good, the beginning sounding as some of the most challenging riffs I have heard. The two closing tracks are fairly strong. "Talybont" is probably my favorite track, really nailing the medieval/renaissance feel GG has that makes them special. "Mobile" is also very good.

I feel like this album now that I think about it is pretty good. But then I listen to it again and find that unlike "Octopus" or "In A Glass House", this album is missing some of the depth that made those two other albums and some of the other GG albums (Giant For A Day of course excluded) enjoyable listens after the 100th and the 1000th listen. Definite buy for any GG fan, and for those just starting with GG this is a pretty good start, but this is missing what made GG really unique.

frippism | 3/5 |

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