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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 1129 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A concept to interest me, music that falls far short

"Three Friends" was the 3rd Gentle Giant album coming after the well received "Acquiring the Taste." It is a concept album about three boys and the various hands that fate deals them through their lives. I'll be brief this time out. Considering we are talking about one of prog's more beloved bands and the time period being magic hour (71-74), I feel almost guilty for not respecting one of the masters. And I truly don't here. The concept is an interesting one that would normally be right up my alley and the lyrics are quite good. But the execution is really dreadful. Rarely does any emotion or bite from these lyrics/themes reach the listener, often times the Giant vocal style and the mumbling on this album really drown out any lyrical emotional connection-not exactly Quadrophenia is it? The music sounds uninspired quite often and the solos fail in a contrived fashion, especially that laughably overblown "Peel the Paint" guitar solo, which probably tops my list of the most glaringly unfulfilling rock showcases. But the biggest problem is that none of these tracks move me in the least, which would not be true of the next album, the far better "Octopus." I think Three Friends is easily the least compelling/interesting/exciting of the classic era Giant works. I'm with Ken Levine here that most of this album is truly mediocre, until we get to the tail end of "Mr. Class and Quality?" which has a nice vibe. Same with the short closing title track which continues the same very pleasant melodic theme, nice atmospheric keys over a repeating riff. It pains me to poop on a classic, but what can you do? Some people diss The Wall or Topographic Oceans. This album is my diss-worthy classic. Thankfully Octopus was next which was so much more impressive than this one.

Finnforest | 2/5 |

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