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McDonald & Giles - McDonald & Giles CD (album) cover


McDonald & Giles


Crossover Prog

3.36 | 139 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This album is grossly underrated, in my opinion (3.36 as of writing).

This album would get 5 stars without question if not for the two filler-ish songs "Flight of the Ibis" and "Is She Waiting", the latter being the worst of the two with a weak vocal performance from McDonald and a forgettable structure and melody on a whole. Fortunately, these are the shortest songs on the album (a bit over 5 minutes together).

Now, as for the rest of the album: it's fantastic. Comparisons to King Crimson are unavoidable, of course, but on a whole this is a completely different album than what the aforementioned band produced during this time. It's jazzy and complex, jumping with joy and almost feels like it can't contain itself. McDonald and Giles stated that they left King Crimson due to KC's music being too sad; and when listening to this album, that's pretty evident. Master Fripp, on the other hand, said McD&G had left the band because of their girlfriends - and a quick look at the cover of this album either confirms that, or perhaps it's just a humorously intentional reference to the aforementioned implication. The highlight of the album on a whole is, quite obviously, Giles' drumming and McDonalds "woodwinding", but also Michael's brother, Peter Giles, delivers the best bass playing he has ever put on tape.

Suite in C - 5/5 - This song moves from frantic jazz to atmospheric soundscapes and back several times to great effect, a terrific song.

Flight of the Ibis - 2.5/5 - A pretty weak and cheesy song, but it doesn't exactly kill you.

Is She Waiting? - 2/5 - Nothing to see here, move along.

Tomorrow's People - 5/5 - Usually seen as the highlight of the album, and I'm not one to disagree. Driven forward by Giles' fantastic jazzy and heavy drumming and stellar performances from the other musicians, it's really top notch.

Birdman - 5/5 - Well, what can one say about a 21-minute song? The style is similar to that of the first song, from jazzy to floating, twisting and turning through a story about a man who builds a flying machine.

Taking in to account the length of the songs when calculating the final score, this album lands at 4,6 out of 5. In reality, though, the whole is slightly less than the sum of it's parts, so I'll give it 4,25 out of 5.

Werneflo | 4/5 |


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