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Gentle Giant - The Missing Piece CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

2.94 | 498 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
3 stars The Missing Piece, Gentle Giants first footfalls into the world of popular music. Even though that is true, it is good pop music, and there are still progressive elements to most of their songs (something they would lose in their next album). All the memebers of the band still play strongly, although i hardly think they were playing their best.

Things start off rolling with the rocking tune of Two Weeks In Spain. I have always enjoyed this song, as it is very good straight forward rock music. Derek's vocals add a bit of humor, IMO, and are a great element to make this song diverse (another problem that i have with the 'pop' era of GG). Next Up is I'm Turning Around. A gentler piece that isn't all too spectacular but nice none the less. The next two songs show the weaker side of Giant's accessible music. Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It, has bad lyrics and way too rocky for Giant. I also don't like Derek's vocals on this one, but i think that is just personal taste. Who Do You Think You Are? has a country feel and comes off bad in the end. However, the good point to the song, is Derek's singing. Something i find very enjoyable. After that we have a very good strech of music that includes many progressive elements. Mountian Time brings us back to the good ol' days of Giant with jumpy piano, off beat instrumentations, and a good melody, especially in the vocal line. However, it is still very much a pop/rock song. As Old As You Are Young begins with some very GG keyboards, guitar, and bass. Also, its pleasent to hear Kerry back at the mic. Even though i do prefer Derek's vocals, it has always been a staple of the Giant for multiple vocalists. Also, his gentler voice fits the mood of the song much better. Also, here is the first use of vocal counterpoint on this album (something i enjoy very much). A great song indeed. Next up is the lengthy Memories Of Old Days. A nice, slow, growing, progressive song with excellent lyrics, guitar, and atmosphere. Definitely the most progressive song on the album, it is certainly a highlight. Winning starts off with an interesting percussion solo semi-bash which then grows into a solid upbeat melody. More progressive elements can be found in this song, which makes this song one of the better ones on the album. The final song on the album is For Nobody. An agressive rocking song, with great melody and vocal lines. I am perticulary fond of Johns drumming for some odd reason. It ceratinly drives the song forward in a big way. Also, this song has more of that Giant staple, vocal counterpoint. Add a short little Mr. Green guitar solo and there is nothing bad about this song, and i would certainly put it in the albums top three.

All in all, this is the start of a new Gentle Giant, even though they held on to their progressive past, especially with the last half of the album. There is not much to dislike on this album, however, in terms of progressiveness this album stumbles. A good idea of Giant fans, and for fans that don't mind a little more rock in their music. Recommended.

Man With Hat | 3/5 |


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