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Gentle Giant - Interview CD (album) cover

INTERVIEW

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 730 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars One of the few reasons why GG never really achieved the success that other UK bands did (outside questionable management decision especially regarding the touring) is that they have a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot by irritating/provoking the industry. We had seen this with their relatively tasteless acquisition of their second album on top of having difficult albums on the market. Their eighth album is actually their third concept album after Three Friends and TP&TG, but this one is yet another attack on the music industry by depicting fake interviews by having to answer stupid/horrendously daft questions. This was not really a smart thing to do after the good sales of Free Hand and the absurdly cancelled British tour. To even irate further the press and industry, the "conceptual attack " is not even mean, funny or especially sarcastic but simply slightly sardonic and caustic with the interview bits barely audible, probably irritating the press even more and the chose not to even talk about it!

A lot of GG purists consider this album as the first non-classic album, but this is completely unjust, as almost every endearing qualities of the previous albums is here except maybe a real lack of power in the music, as if Green could not have found his usual guitar amp during the recording sessions and used a practice amp with two blown bulbs. The Title track is a perfect example of this, however delightful the songwriting is, something is lacking. One of the surprises is Give It Back that develops into a superb "white" reggae (around that time 10CC had also done the delightful Dreadlock Holiday) that may anger purists but I assure you that it is worthy of a Classic GG album their great percussive sound being perfectly suited for such music genre. Another Show and Empty City being the other faves of mine in this album, the overall feel of the album is leaning a bit towards pop (but GG always had this tendency as Caravan did also), but if I talked of 10CC before it is no coincidence as one could say that a majority of the tracks here, would sound close to a classic album of theirs although they would be on speed when they recorded it.

Although still loaded with crazy rythms and contrapuntal shifts, there is however a subtle shift in direction towards more straightforward songwriting but not anymore than say Three Friends, but believe me this album is still very worthy of them. I happen to like it better than Free Hand. However the following album is an all-together different story, quite mediocre (by GG standards) with just one track that would fit on this album.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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