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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant  CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 812 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Hangedman
Prog Reviewer
3 stars As far as prog debuts go this album is pretty fantastic. From the opening song "Giant" you can already hear Gentle Giants classic sound. Most bands on the first release haven't quite perfected their sound, or haven't found a good chemistry yet. Gentle Giant however was ready to amaze right away. This was the first Gentle Giant album I had ever bought, and while not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, it remains a very strong album that I will put on every couple of months.

For 1970 this piece is some very advanced symphonic music. It utilizes all sorts of "classical" instruments, violin cello etc..., sax, and synthesizers. So you get very diverse sounds. It doesn't need to be said but Gentle Giant is one of the most technically gifted rock bands of all time, and it does come off in this recording. The one thing you can count on Gentle Giant for is complexity.

The biggest difference between this gentle giant album and the others is it is very hard rock oriented. As a result of this it is very fun to listen to. It keeps you paying attention, even if you don't want to be (in fact, I like to listen to the albums I review while I review them, and I've found myself trail off to listen to the album more than once). Also Gentle Giant (especially on this album I find) almost always have great lyrics. "Funny Ways", "Isn't It Quiet and Cold?", "Nothing at All", and "Why Not?" are all very well penned, usually bands with the instrumental talent of Gentle Giant cant write a good lyric to save their life. That's another thing I like about the album.

Despite the fact the album is filled with above average songs, only one manages to be at all memorable. Although the Gentle Giant style I've come to love is definitely present and also well put together, it still hasn't been perfected and comes off a little shaky. There isn't a conceptual or musical direction at all and it feels very loose as a result. The drum solo on "Nothing at All" is a little drawn out, and I find myself bored by the end of it.

The opening track "Giant" is easily in my top 5 Gentle Giant songs, and might even be one of my all time favorite songs. Its shifts from quiet to loud are amongst the most impressive I've ever heard. "Funny Ways" is a very good and strange tune, almost a nod to the bands outlook on music as much is it is a song about the way a person lives. "The Queen" is a stupid filler that runs at 1 minute and 40 seconds. Its completely unacceptable (IMO anyways) to include filler like this that has no conceptual or transitory purpose.

Overall this is not one of the best Gentle Giant albums, but is worth your money. A good place to start, and if your already a fan of these guys and you don't own this album you are committing heresy. 3 stars, and amongst the best debut albums of all time.

Hangedman | 3/5 |

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