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Gentle Giant - Free Hand  CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 996 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

Out of the whole of GG's discography Free Hand was the album that sold most (even reached chart position 26 in the UK), the band reaching even some kind of success across the pond by touring extensively the new world (and having great success in Quebec even headlining the sold-out Montreal Forum), but mistakes would again be done by forgetting to tour UK (and even cancelling a tour for no apparent valid reasons) following the commercial success.

However, this album is aiming even further at distancing themselves from their earlier more acoustic material, the only thing being acoustic on this album are the sax, cello and violin (when they are used), but this is really noticeable in an overview of the few albums of the mid-70's. The other major but minor complaint I have about this album is the systematic and by now mechanical constant tempo changes sometimes clearly done for the sake of it than by necessity or artistic choices. Don't get me wrong, the general quality of the tracks are still your typically GG , but by now this being their seventh studio album , the formula is so well established that it now seems a bit exhausted and the inspiration borders on a business-as-usual impression that was already making itself felt by TP&TG album, but it is more distinct now!

There are still some superb moments on the album such as the delightful last Voyage and Time To Kill, as well as the title track, but on the whole I end up relatively (slightly?) bored. I also realize that I represent a small minority among GG fans , especially given that I prefer the next album Interview.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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