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Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste CD (album) cover

ACQUIRING THE TASTE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 1003 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

Well if GG never got any success (commercial or critical) in their own country, it might be a bit their own doing, with their cocky and overly elitist attitude bordering on provocation (get back in your crib Mr Johnny Rotten) towards the establishment. The overly superior tone and borderline pretentious text inside the album, the rather ugly cover depicting ass-licking towards the music industry as well as the very-related album title did not go unnoticed by all the "establishment» who clearly chose to give the album the silent treatment, maiming the band were it hurts most: exposure and therefore sales.

Another factor for the lack of success (at least on the home front, because on the Continent, they will gain a solid cult following) is that the music is anything but easily accessible due to rather wild, unexpected, opaque, oblique, obscure - and dare I say obtuse? - musical choices , that seems to complicate - sometimes needlessly - their songs. From the clumsy Moog intro of opening track about French language "founding father"(Rabelais) characters (see Cert1fied and Cortese's reviews for more details) to the Generator-less VDG mating with Hendrix wah-wah sounding-finale, everything spells un-commercial, adventurous, odd and rather quaint, but there is a sheer brilliance coming through this Oeuvre. I find some tracks to be relatively aimless (notably Edge Of Twilight and its intrusive percussive break and Moon Is Down) and so odd in construction that they remind me a bit the sloppy songwritings of KC's SABB album: I like to be surprised in the music I listen to but I also expect it to roll around naturally, not taking non-natural twist for the sake of it. Wreck and Black Cat are your typical GG tracks that we are so accustomed to and their unique renaissance-influenced vocals being now firmly established. One of the risk of being groundbreaking is that sometimes your work can sound incredibly outdated and in this case is the title track with its clumsy Moog playing (only Emerson had mastered the Moog synth at the time). The last track being sometimes superb, sometimes very awkward especially with the pedal effects, it serves as a fitting outro for this difficult but indispensable album.

If I sound harsh on this album, it is because while re-writing this review (it paled in comparison to my fellow colleague reviewers), I found most a bit over-ecstatic about this album.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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