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Gentle Giant - Free Hand  CD (album) cover

FREE HAND

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 949 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

terramystic
5 stars "Free Hand" is GENTLE GIANT's last masterpiece. It's a good example of their mature and original style. Their strongest point is complex interplay between musicians, who altogether create a fascinating musical image.

"Just the Same" is a symphonic rock track with a typical witty feel of GG. Riffs sound somewhat funky and lively rhytmic. Middlesection has a calmer space passage and later a jazzy solo by the excellent keyboardist Kerry Minnear.

"On Reflection" starts with their trademark vocal polyphony inspired by renaissance a cappella music. The middle part has some elements in the style of medieval troubadours. Instrumentation is very interesting switching between acoustic and electric instruments. The track finishes with a lively instrumental interplay that is fading out much too soon. This track is a real delight in counterpoint melodies.

"Free Hand" is another diverse track with strange melodies and a lot of fun for a listener. They are one of the few prog bands that know how to make music extremely complex and at the same time very catchy, folky and witty music. Some dissonances on this album are reminding me of avant prog but they are never overemphasized.

"Time to Kill" is similar to the previous track. It's irresistable not to move and shake to this comlex jazzy grooves.

"His Last Voyage" is more in the polyphonic style of "On Reflection" again.

"Talybont" is the most folky track with colorful sound.

"Mobile" is a very complex track with a lot of interesting shifts.

Conclusion: A newbie listener may have a little trouble with high complexity of this music but there's nothing to be scared about. It wins your heart after a few listenings. It's a pitty that a trully progressive and unique band like this gets often unnoticed and ignored. Grab this prog masterpiece as soon as you can!

terramystic | 5/5 |

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