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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory  CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.27 | 964 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

pianocomposer
5 stars I would have abandoned this website if The Power And The Glory had not appeared on the top 100 list. This is bar-none my very favorite album of any kind ever recorded. As a composer and songwriter I rarely find music that is beautiful yet incomprehensible. The level of complexity necessary to write a concept album in a jazz/fusion/rock musical form is unprecedented. Just as mensa has two categories of genius (genius and super genius) it is clear that Gentle Giant towers above nearly all other creative musical geniuses in the western world. Mozart is to Venice as Gentle Giant is to England.

Brothers Derek and Ray Shulman and Kerry Minnear wrote most of the music for this progressive rock band in the 70s, when it was fashionable to write great progressive music without making any money doing it. (Genesis is most famous for having lost lots of cash back in those days.) The music of Gentle Giant is based largely on the history of music in the United Kingdom, including troubador, ancient monestary style, psychedelic 60s, fusion, jazz, and some complex rock rhythms. The breadth and depth of the musical influence is stunning when you consider how catchy most of the songs are. There is no band on earth today that can claim to have influenced progressive rock more strongly than Gentle Giant.

SONG BY SONG: Proclaimation is a fast and brilliant song that sets up the theme about the hold that power has over human beings the world over. So Sincere is an unbelievably syncopated melodic tour de force that details how politicians throughout history are great liars. Aspirations talks of what drives people to seek power and glory. Playing The Game is my favorite song ever written in any genre. The bass and clever lyrics with transcedent organ and brilliant syncopated drum and synth-bells never cease to amaze me. Cogs in Cogs is a difficult piece of music that uses GGs famous "round" style, as in Row Row Row your boat. No God's a Man is also sung in round form and reminds me of an ancient troubador song with early 70s rock overtones. The Face is another difficult piece of music that is fast and whirling...a mood piece that sets a frantic emotional tone. Validictory recaptures some of the "fast and furious" themes from earlier songs. It was also the last song on the original album. The Power And The Glory is a bonus track recorded later that is a failed "pop" attempt that seems to consolidate the whole album. Some reviewers have criticized the inclusion of this song as inferior, but only in terms of the preceeding brilliance. Nor is this final song a poor piece of work; it's just simpler and more succinct.

| 5/5 |

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