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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1259 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Another triumph from Gentle Giant after the variable (but still quite good) Three Friends. Initially based around an extremely loose concept (the original idea was to write one song to represent each of the members of the band), the album eventually developed into the group's most powerful and forceful album yet. Raconteur Troubadour is a case in point; beginning as a medieval-tinged mostly-acoustic number, the song becomes more and more frantic as it goes on, building up to the electric rock number A Cry For Everyone, which manages to combine prog rock complexity with a ballsy, muscular delivery. Knots begins with a capella rhythms combining wonderfully before breaking out into full instrumental complexity, and The Advent of Panurge likewise begins with quiet synthesiser melodies and gentle, almost whispered lyrics before breaking out into more complex fare.

An album truly worth revisiting again and again, Octopus showcases the sheer diversity available to the band, as well as showing that they can rock out and get wild with the best of them. In particular, had the band returned to the approach of A Cry For Everyone as part of their response to the punk explosion, as opposed to turning their sound to the mainstream, I suspect they'd have both kept their original audience and attracted a surprising number of younger fans, much like Peter Hammill was able to. But enough for mourning the paths not taken - this particular album is gold from beginning to end.

Warthur | 5/5 |

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