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Gentle Giant - Free Hand CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 1358 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I see "Free Hand" as the zenith of Gentle Giant's fabulous classic period. It's perhaps their most realized effort. After the excellent, in wide parts experimental "In A Glass House" the group developed it's Renaissance-medieval approach on "The Power And The Glory", and produced one of the most creative and complex recordings in progressive rock history. On "Free Hand" they perfected that style, with using more transparent arrangements.

"Just The Same" is another superb opening to an classic Gentle Giant record, which is also the most accessible piece on. Their vocal approach to the four-part fugue "On Reflection" was revolutionary for it's time and is looked upon as one of the genre's defining moments (specially it inspired Spock's Beard's vocal-arrangements very strongly). Despite the complexity of the arrangements, the music never sounds academic and in fact is very accessible thanks to several melodic hooks. The combination of once more superb musicianship, dry wit, and creative compositions make this an essential and historical recording. The Renaissance-medieval approach of Gentle Giant reached it's highest point in the illustry "Talybont". The impressive "Mobile" finally crashes the album to an end, before the classic period of GG is finally over for many fans and progressive rock-addicts. Many of those seem to have forgotten the great "Interview" album they delivered one year after "Free Hand", even it wasn't quite on the same high level but not very far. What is left to say about this landmark progressive rock record?

9.5/10 points = 95 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

Marc Baum | 5/5 |


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