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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 1254 ratings

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FenderX
5 stars Gentle Giant's "Gentle Giant", the first album of this brilliant band was released in 1970 when Gentle Giant were still a new group, and their sub-musical genre was moving from progressive rock to hard rock. In this album Gentle Giant haven't used a lot of advanced and strange instruments, but this album is very creative, new and exciting.

The artwork shows a big head with a bearded bald ginger. When you open the album you can see that the head is actually a giant that holds the band members in his gigantic hands and makes a move like he is about to give the observer the Gentle Giant members and that's how you can understand that he is a very gentle giant, as the name of the band says.

The album starts with a fantastic track which is called "Giant" it starts with a quiet organ melody which reminds us of the works of Jon Lord from Deep Purple, bass playing gets us to the verse which really reminds us of hard rock but it has some prog elements too. You can't see the really big change of the band style which comes only at the second album "Acquiring The Taste". The track is very creative and has some very interesting bass lines and organ parts which all are carefully crafted into one beautiful masterpiece. I like the instrumental part in the song as it includes some drumming and bass at the front and organ only at the background, making a beautiful harmony which is very Deep Purple-like but it has its own twist, the instrumental part continues to a very dramatic part with some choir singing with the organs and the beautiful instrument playing that you can see in the whole song. The song ends a quick break of the verse.

"Funny Ways". One of the songs that really got me into prog, starts some violins and acoustic guitar playing a strange riff then continues to a mellow, soft singing. This song has a dreamy yet beautiful atmosphere especially at the chorus "My ways are strange" which gets to a pretty heavy point compared to the rest of the song. The atmosphere of this song is pretty sorrowful, at least in my opinion but it is very joyful at the same time, especially at the part which starts in the middle which is very happy, and includes some drumming which sound very Hawaiian, gets us to a fantastic super emotional guitar solo, it includes very much of the soul of the one who wrote the solo, it gets back to the beautiful verse that is played with some African drums this time instead of regular drums it fades out then plays some more notes then ends pretty fast.

"Alucard", Dracula backwards, it starts with an interesting riff by organ, bass guitar, and electric guitar, it heats to a certain point with an organ solo then breaks to a quiet verse, with a spooky atmosphere which is hard to describe, the chorus has this creepy atmosphere especially in the organ and bass part after the singing which is very heavy and creepy. All the song has the semi-haunted atmosphere which is very dreamy and very heavy. Introduction is playing again with some breaks and guitar, organ, bass and drums ending which breaks in a certain point, then some organ notes come for a few seconds that get us out to the next song.

"Isn't It Quiet And Cold?" a very nice, quiet and atmospheric song, which makes you feel like you are walking in the street at the night, it has some violins which make the atmosphere really "Londony", it gets to a part which sounds very similar to The Beatles, a quiet amazing masterpiece. The tracks in this album are pretty short and it is not a long album.

"Nothing At All" starts with some beautiful acoustic picking, with some bass guitar notes entering, the vocals enter "Now she sits by the river..." this is a very nice atmosphere, it makes you sleepy but very awake at the same time. I can't really describe this song too much. It has a lot of prog elements and it is very emotional, it has some parts which really remind me of Simon & Garfunkel, it reminds a lot of David Bowie's works too. It enters a heavy hard rock riff in the middle of the song , the singing is matching this heavy guitar part in a very good way. The track has a beautiful drum solo with some classical piano playing in it, fantastic, a feeling that is hard to describe and a strange element, drums with a classical piano piece (?) it gets to a more jazzy point especially from the piano point of view, it fades out to fade into the verse again which is beautifully singed, ends with a break of the chorus with the phrase "Nothing at all" as the name of the song is. This track is very long compared to the rest of the album, it persists for 9 minutes.

"Why Not?" starts with some quiet organ notes playing, then entering a heavy riff with some electric guitar and bass guitar, the vocals are high and match the hard rock atmosphere perfectly, this track really reminds me of Deep Purple, it has a lot of elements that are combined together to create one more masterpiece. The track is very heavy but emotional, it has multiple vocals in some parts and it makes it very beautiful, it has some Pink Floyd-like sound at the middle-end with a short guitar solo which has its own feel, it is emotional and not very technical, it creates a fantastic hard rock atmosphere which ends with two chords then some drumming and organ.

"The Queen", well, it is the UK anthem in the version of Gentle Giant, which is more progressive and hard rock styled, it starts with the original anthem played by them then enters a quiet more heavy atmosphere. it is a very short track with a lot of dramatic breaks, nice guitar playing and it ends with a short organ almost unheard part.

Gentle Giant's very first album is an amazing, creative and hard rock styled album. It was of course one of my first prog albums, I couldn't stop listening to it for weeks, it reminds me of some very good times. I would give it 100/100 it is just brilliant, of course not my favorite album of Gentle Giant but it is surely one of the favorites of me in Gentle Giant and in prog at all. Thank you Gentle Giant for the album.

FenderX | 5/5 |

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