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Gentle Giant - Giant For A Day CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

2.30 | 429 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Aword for the wise: don't buy this album until you've acquired all of the GENTLE GIANT albums before it. GENTLE GIANT is a great band, but their greatness is predicated on a facility for counterpoint and medieval-themed arrangements which the band had largely abandoned by this stage in their career. Beginning with "The Missing Piece", GG tried to appeal to a wider audience by "dumbing down" their songs; complex instrumental passages and classical motifs were replaced by more conventional song structures. The end result was something of a "baroque boogie", not unlike listening to a Supertramp record while letting the turntable speed skip between 33 and 45 rpm.

Needless to say, commercial success eluded them, while their original fan base began to grow restless. True, you can catch a whiff of greatness on songs like "Friends" (written by drummer John WEATHERS), "No Stranger" and "Words From The Wise", but their earlier albums fairly reek with the stuff. In the old days, you could expect to hear Ray SHULMAN whip out his violin and join Kerry MINNEAR on keyboards and Weathers on tuned percussion for a tight-seamed mosaic of sounds that left this mortal realm in search of finer things. On this album, Gary GREEN turns his guitar up a little and you get kind of a half-hearted guitar solo like the one on "It's Only Goodbye."

Not that GENTLE GIANT was the only band to ever make a bad album. According to my Theory of Chicken McNuggetivity, the consumption of any product has a point at which you're likely to bite into something that just plain tastes bad. And plenty of prog rock artists have misjudged the portability of their product when soliciting new customers (CAMEL, JON ANDERSON, JETHRO TULL). Little consolation for anyone who's listened to this album, though, since hearing the band stoop this low to conquer is downright depressing.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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