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Gentle Giant - Giant For A Day CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

2.30 | 429 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars Picking on this unqualified disaster of an album is like shooting already dead fish in a very shallow barrel: not very sporting, but hard to resist when in a trigger-happy mood.

If it's any consolation, this is one dog that deserves to be kicked, because it represents nothing less than a total betrayal of the loyal fans who supported a struggling, uncompromising band for so long. At least "The Missing Piece", released one year earlier, showed some welcome signs of resuscitated enthusiasm. But any residual vitality had completely evaporated by the time this turkey took wing: an album conceived, composed, and performed with a total lack of conviction, and I hope for their own sake that the band hated every minute of the process.

Never mind the featherweight pop of the album opener "Words From the Wise" (and I can still recall my deflated anticipation when hearing it fresh in 1978). There's simply no excuse, from an erstwhile group of Progressive Rock artists known to challenge themselves both in the studio and on stage, for such anemic AM-radio fodder like "Thank You" or "Friends" (the former obviously acknowledging an empty room; the latter resembling, in post-Punk 1978, something from Bert and Ernie's living room on Sesame Street).

And then there's (in Frank Zappa's memorable phrase) "the smash flop" single "Little Brown Bag", also known as "Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It Again (And You'd Be Right)". The song "Take Me" hits a new aesthetic low in the downward career arc of the band, and if there's a hell I'm betting it sounds a lot like "No Stranger".

The only song able to generate a facsimile of interest is the self-promoting title track, thanks mostly to the dynamic tracking of J.P. Weathers' drum kit, and a memorable riff by guitarist Gary Green. But even that effort is sabotaged by Derek Shulman's affected vocal delivery, sounding not unlike New Wave chanteuse Lene Lovich with a touch of bronchitis.

In truth I've always had a soft spot for the album cover concept (it reminds me of childhood dinners at Lyons Restaurant, where the children's placemats doubled as masks). But let's face it: at the end of the day the only thing more embarrassing than a sell-out is a sell-out that nobody buys.

Looking for a silver lining, at least the album wasn't titled "Love Beach"...

Neu!mann | 1/5 |


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