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Gentle Giant - The Missing Piece  CD (album) cover

THE MISSING PIECE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

2.94 | 356 ratings

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daveconn
Prog Reviewer
3 stars What's missing here is the creative spark that allowed earlier albums to catch fire. From the opening bars of "Two Weeks In Spain", which initially sounds to be on the wrong speed, it's clear that GENTLE GIANT has tampered with the formula or tapped out their well of inspiration. Thus, "The Missing Piece" marks an end to the unbroken chain of great albums begun in 1970 with their eponymous debut. The once-dazzling arrangements, built around complex riffs from Ray SHULMAN and Kerry MINNEAR, here fall flat for the first time. The band known for sublime album sides knocks off restless and noisy bits, as heard in the contentious "Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It", which seemed ironically to anticipate commercial success with this new approach. Only "I'm Turning Around" harks back to earlier successes, on the first side of music anyway. The second side, oddly, picks up where Interview left off, albeit half an album late. The medieval-sounding "As Old As You're Young" and darting counterpoint of "For Nobody" in particular reveal a return to form.

As it turned out, it would be the last time GENTLE GIANT scaled these heights, opting instead to follow the first side of this album for the subsequent "Giant For A Day". With the "Interview" tour behind them, perhaps it's no wonder the band sounds exhausted in the studio. Unlike their next record, "The Missing Piece" does have redeeming features, but it's hardly an integral piece of the puzzle. If you've purchased all of their earlier records and still feel something's missing, then I'd pick this up. Otherwise, you're not missing anything.

daveconn | 3/5 |

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