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Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste CD (album) cover

ACQUIRING THE TASTE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 982 ratings

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daveconn
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The group's second album lays it out in the liner notes: "We have recorded each composition with the one thought - that it should be unique, adventurous and fascinating". Although they'd come closer to that lofty goal on subsequent records, you can hear the various magical elements that make up GENTLE GIANT's best work coalesce on this effort. The complex vocal harmonies found here are some of the band's most ambitious, while medieval interludes and unexpected musical shifts (in keys and meters) make their appearance.

Produced by Tony Visconti (again), "Acquiring The Taste" does feature a sludgier attack than later albums, at times suggesting KING CRIMSON or even BLACK SABBATH (though much lighter on their feet than the latter). Wisps of mellotron can be heard in the opening "Pantagruel's Nativity" while heavy saxes lurk in works like "Edge of Twilight". Filled with dark and portentous sounds, "Acquiring The Taste" might be initially off-putting to listeners enamored of GG's more limber arrangements, but as the album progresses the band seems to visibly lighten up. The playful interaction on "The House, The Street, The Room" is one example of this, though its ending is as heavy as anything they've recorded (recalling the apocalyptic sounds of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR). Using a similar musical theme, "The Moon Is Down" adopts a lighter approach, showcasing the interweaving of sounds from Kerry MINNEAR, Gary GREEN and Ray SHULMAN that otherwise seems to exist only in fits and starts.

Given a little time, "Acquiring The Taste" will work its way under your skin like all good GENTLE GIANT albums do. Some of the songs will strike you immediately (e.g., the brilliant "Wreck"), others may take more time. If it all sounds like Gentle Generator rather than the GENTLE GIANT of "Octopus", I say more power to them.

daveconn | 4/5 |

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