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Gentle Giant - In A Glass House CD (album) cover

IN A GLASS HOUSE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.35 | 1124 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Gentle Giant has been one of my favorite re-discoveries of 2011. Brilliant composition and performance with often quirky and unsustained or more intellectual or mathematical melodies. One of the most highly acclaimed GG discs has moments of sheer brilliance, but, IMHO, not enough to be able to claim true masterpiece status.

"Runaway" (9/10) talk about some mathematically constructed music! Even the marimba solo has a 'pre-planned' feeling to it. Still, this song has a very (misleadingly) easy going feeling to it--and the vocals make for one of the most melodic and accessible songs in the GG catalog.

"An Inmate's Lullaby" (9/10) presents itself as almost a Mother Goose nursery rhyme like children's song. But it's not. It is a very jazzy percussion-oriented song. I think both Miles Davis and Harold Budd would be quite proud to have composed this song.

"Way of Life" (7/10) is a bluesy vamp with a pre-disco beat/sound (reminiscent of The Four Seasons' "O! What a Night!" and Madness' "Our House"). Rather brilliant organ and lead guitar work offer the listener an alternative to the rather poor vocals and rhythm structure.

"Experience" (6/10) is a Renaissance troubadour song using modern instruments that, frankly, doesn't work. The a cappella vocal (gorgeous!) alternating with silly bass line section (later repeated with organ alternating with same silly bass line) is an excellent example of what's wrong with this song: excellent & beautiful playing along side poor and almost laughable.

"A Reunion" (8/10) is a pretty little folksie Renaissance song. This one works.

"In a Glass House' (9/10) illustrates how GG can hit on all cylanders: amazing keyboards, J TULL-like electric guitar sections, folksy vocals and acoustic guitar picking, all woven together quite masterfully--like a church dialogue.

This album opens and closes with four stellar songs, yet somehow this fails to offset the let down of the middle two. "Runaway" and "In a Glass House" are two of my favorite GG songs, but the album cannot quite earn me the full 5 star "masterpiece" designation. 4 maybe 4.5 stars--an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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