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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 1267 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
5 stars The gentlest music I've ever heard apart from thunderstorms

Personally I prefer the first part of Gentle Giant career, where together with customary virtuosity, there is also a great emphasis on the melodies and great romantic atmosphere: I find that latter aspect of their style over time has failed, in the name of a certain technique arrogance emerged after the release of "In A Glass House". This debut album is without doubt a masterpiece, just a little below "Acquiring The Taste", which remains in my opinion the best album ever in the entire career of the band. The band's style is certainly clear from this first work. I think that the most important aspects that we can find in the music of this first album are:

1) extraordinary blend of voices with solo parts divided among several singers who have different vocal timbres (the band choose the lead vocalist depending on the dynamics of the songs). 2) using many instruments comparing to the canons of rock music with wind instruments, violins, cello and vibraphone. 3) complex arrangements and extraordinary rhythm variations, but without compromising the harmonic structures. 4) great balance between "hard" and "soft": hard rock moments that alternate with others more melodic, and references to medieval music.

All songs are great. Giant starts with an organ introduction and evolving into a hard rock song: the great instrumental fanfare before the last verse of the song is really amazing. Funny Ways, which shows the beautiful sound of the violin of Ray Shulman, is a sweeter song and one of the most beautiful of '70s english prog. Isn't It Quiet And Cold? is probably my favourite track and is absolutely a gem: the use of unconventional instruments like cello, violin, horns and vibes build a beautiful melody embellished with delicate vocals. Nothing At All is another highlight: it start soft, acoustic, with gradual inclusion of electric instruments; then a final preceded by a frenzied drum solo, during which we can hear the Liszt piano sonata "Liebestraum No. 3", that ends with a free arrangement. Why Not? is another hard rock number that includes a blues variation in the end.

Highly recommended to anyone. Rating 9/10.

Best song: Isn't It Quiet And Cold?

Dark Nazgul | 5/5 |


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