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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 | 1029 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars I'm sad to see this band not getting its due--sliding down the ratings/charts--because it is a very influential and well-emulated and -referenced band and their virtuosity as musicians is quite undeniable. While their songs don't always please or make it easy for the listener, I truly admire their compositional intelligence, skill, and courage--they were always pushing the envelope. Even this more sedated, straightforward version of GG is outside the norm of pop or even prog music. For these reasons I could never imagine giving them less than three stars and maybe even four stars. They are an excellent albeit challenging musical experience--but, like Caravan, Gong, VDGG, echolyn, and maudlin of the Well, one that every so-called 'prog lover' should try to experience. IMHO, GG is the most intellectual band out there! What Magma is to the spiritual side of prog rock music, GG is to the mental side.

1. "Proclamation" (8/10) has a great jazzy beginning followed by some very enjoyable two-line concurrent singing. The song continues to develop but never quite strays into the dissonance or freneticism of their previous catologue of unthinkably complex song structures.

2. "So Sincere" (7/10) begins in such a cool Avant/RIO way but then diverges at the 1:25 minute mark into the B part?which turns out to be the chorus. I find it quite abrasive. Reminiscent of the choruses of Ancient Greek stage plays. The bridge to the part in which an electric guitar solos is also quite irritating and the actual solo is almost embarrassing when compared to the virtuosity demanded of normal GG song structures. A weird song?too weird for my tastes.

3. "Aspirations" (10/10) is an unusual GG song for its simplicity, slow pace, and pop-ness. It is, like a MAMAS & THE PAPAS song, quite gorgeous.

4. "Playing the Game" (8/10) is straightforward and melodic enough to, at times, even conjure up some BURT BACHARACH familiarities. Part 2 of the song, instrumental in its start, becomes somewhat JETHRO TULL & BRIAN AUGER-play-GENESIS-like! Again, GG seems sedated, more conscious of listener accessibility--which obviously helps this album gain its (much deserved) popularity. But,, at the same time, it is also somewhat sad in that they have had to seemingly 'dumb down' or 'dilute' their music in order to try 'please' or 'access' the masses--gone is the 'challenge' their music put before the listener to 'rise' to their level of sophistication. 'Yeah!' But. 'Too bad!'

5. "Cogs in Cogs" (7/10) is very sophisticated rock--almost jazzy--but, truly, rooted in rock and roll. Quite similar to parts of TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA's "The Ikon."

6. "No Gods a Man" (10/10) hits the mark for me because of its accessibility. (Probably due to its rather subdued pace and the presence of some great melodies.) I love the CSN&Y-like vocals.

7. "Face" (7/10) is filled with some GG 'challenges' but is still much more straightforward and even tempoed than their previous three albums. Vocals are much more accessible, too.

8. "Valedictory" (7/10) has a bit of a FRANK ZAPPA/MOTHERS OF INVENTION feel to it--bluesy, loud and in your face.

9. "The Power and the Glory" (7/10) is a fairly straightforward song which sounds as if it comes right out of the ANDY PARTRIDGE/XTC catalog. In fact, I wonder if Andy was highly influenced and inspired by GG.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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