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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1204 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer
4 stars GENTLE GIANT remains still as one of the most purist and enigmatic bands that led the pathways to a more representative and systemic sound, not only from the depths of its very own genre, but to an intertwined development outside the alignments of Progressive Rock. A refined multi-instrumentation, characteristic blends and mixtures, magical composition and challenging introspection linked to several side prog-related genres like pure rock, jazz and chamber music just to name a few. The capability to join musical pieces together, is outstanding. Out of incessant experimentation, the English band managed to craft a perfect progressive model followed up by an unmistakable signature, that over the years to come, would be irremediably emulated yet, never resembled to the original essence.

Remarkably, this third exercise is the result of a constant implementation process, that started getting into shape from the band's debut album. "Three Friends" takes off superbly, where "Prologue" unrolls quite a red carpet to display the skills of Kerry MINNEAR behind his Moog Mellotron. The piece condensates a morbid fluidity, so full of obscure passages and intriguing guitars that deviate the attention of some orchestrated sequence whatsoever, finding in between the inductive lyric to what is left of the album. "Schooldays" isn't only the second step to be taken onwards this production, it widely represents the renewed sound, if I may call it such; of GENTLE GIANT. The constant echoing running through the whole song is the provocative result of fearless experimentation, suiting perfectly the argumentation individually described by every instrument at its time.

When moving on to "Working All Day", the air thickens a little bit more despite the playful lyric, where Philip SHULMAN increases the tone of suspense out of the notes of his sax. There's also an emotive movement almost by the middle of the track, where that sax gets entangled in this conversation with MINNEAR's Moog, creating the suitable motif to give the song that space interlude. On the other hand, as we walk by the dark streets of "Peel the Paint", the ambiance radically turns into moody and extremely compassed, where the chords coming out from Ray SHULMAN's violin encapsulate the song in a tiny room, distilling drops of eloquence that eventually lead the paused composition into a delicious, almost schizophrenic, musical passage. The guitars here, play a very audacious role, where the strings seems to argue fiercely with the hypnotic beat blasting off from Malcolm MORTIMORE's drum kit. In my opinion, this unique composition stands out from the rest of the episodes included in this early seventies album.

Wisely reserved to wrap the album up, the self-titled song, previously elapsed by "Mister Class and Quality?" exquisitely; encloses this sort of hidden meaning pictured all along the whole record, flowing through indefinable movements, some simple to spot out, some clutched tight to a musical ambiguity, sealing up wonderfully this hardly to oversee production by the band once formed during the late sixties by the SHULMAN brothers. It is mandatory for your ears to reach out for this album.

The Prognaut | 4/5 |


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