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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1242 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

InAGlassHouse
5 stars Octopus is widely varied in terms of reception. Some people live by this album, others hate it. This is my own personal take. I think this album is absolutely brilliant. GG's most varied album, each track brings something different to the table that makes this album overall perfect.

"The Advent Of Panurge"

Has a nice, soft medieval intro with nice vocals, get's cooking and holds back; repeat. A good song overall, but not my favourite. Overall song rating: 3 stars.

"Raconteur, Troubadour"

A fun, medieval based piece. The middle section of this song is what shines on this song. The violin work by Ray Shulman is fantastic. How he plays so many instruments is beyond me... I really think they nailed the medieval sound on this song. The tambourine actually adds a lot on this song. And the tiny bit of trumpet added by Phil Shulman is a nice touch as well. Overall, I think this song is great. I love classical-and-medieval-meets-rock stuff though. Overall song rating: 4 stars.

"A Cry For Everyone"

Many people don't like this song, because most people find it out of place with the album. But the whole album is kind of out of place with itself in general. I love the interplay between the guitar (Gary Green) and keys (Kerry Minnear) on this song. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the cheesy synth tone used for a short melody somewhere between 1:45 and 2 minutes. But I got used to it, GG is quirky like that anyways. Overall song rating: 4 stars.

"Knots"

I'm an absolute sucker for GG's vocal counterpoint pieces. This song either slaps you in the face or it binds you. Along with the quirky instrumentation between vocal passages, the first little bit can be jarring for anyone who doesn't know who GG is. But when the melody breaks out into the nice piano melody, people may start to "get it" at that point. This is my favourite song on the album though. Overall song rating: 5 stars.

"The Boys In The Band"

The one instrumental on the album, this song is, along with Knots, one of my favourites on the album. This song is my definition of 'Musical ADHD'. This song is absolutely all over the place. But this song comes screaming in full-force and holds me the whole time. Love this song. Overall song rating: 5 stars

"Dog's Life"

A funny little song, this makes me laugh, in a good way. A mix of a melancholy orchestra and squeaky keyboard tones back up the vocals about a literal 'Dog's Life'. It just has this funny groove that I generally actually enjoy. Not sure if this was meant to be musical comedy, but that's what it feels like. Overall song rating: 4 stars

"Think of Me With Kindness"

This is non-crazy, actual soft, pretty track on this album (My friend and I actually jam this song when we're bored). Although this song probably gets looked over, I think this song is wonderful. Well-written lyrics, piano work is brilliant. Overall, a really nice song. Oh and the trumpet was a nice touch too. Overall song rating: 4 1/2 stars

"River"

The last track on the album, also one of my favourites. The use of emanating the intro theme with violin and wah guitar was, I think, a brilliant touch. The vocal melody flows nicely over this song, making it semi-catchy, but it's the riff that's catchy in my mind. The flow-y sound effect throughout the song is an interesting effect. Does nothing to really enhance the song overall, except when it's used to transition to the main riff. The mini drum solo is nice. It doesn't exactly show off all the John Weathers can do, but good nonetheless. Gary Green has a nice solo in this too. Overall, a nice track, which I think is catchy in all the right spots for me to like it so much. Overall song rating: 4 1/2 stars.

Overall:

I think this diverse album is well-done. This was the album that got me into Gentle Giant, and I'm glad it was this one. I think this is the best album for new GG fans. The 'sampler', you could say. I think this is the point when GG really started revving their creative engine. Overall: 5 stars. I love this album, and to those who haven't heard it, I highly reccomend it.

High points of the album: Knots The Boys In The Band River

Low points of the album: The Advent Of Panurge

InAGlassHouse | 5/5 |

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