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Gentle Giant - Interview CD (album) cover

INTERVIEW

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 730 ratings

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Fenrispuppy
2 stars I have forced myself to listen to this album over and over again in varied attempts to try to like it. I love so much of Gentle Giant's oeuvre, even some of the later stuff, that I could not understand why I never really cared for this album. Sure, there are some really good songs: "Interview", "Design", "Empty City" and "I Lost My Head". In fact, the latter two tracks are multifaceted little masterpieces that stand up with the best tracks from "In a Glass House" or "Free Hand".

One problem is that there are also some not so good songs. "Give It Back" is a misguided reggae flavored attempt to sound relevant, pointing the way to a more pop sounding Gentle Giant of the future. "Another Show" and "Timing" are a couple of disposable songs where Gentle Giant seems to be trying to be "hard rocking"...and most self consciously so. At least on the next album, "The Missing Piece", they developed a sense of humor about it. In any event, the songs were still too quirky to be played on AOR radio alongside Led Zeppelin or Bad Company.

Another problem is the ridiculous concept of this concept album. The concept of the press being unsympathetic and stupid was probably not the best idea in terms of advancing their cause. It just comes off as sour grapes and passing the blame. As great as Gentle Giant was, they seemed to be their own worst enemy at times. The arrogance of this "concept" rivals the liner notes of their vastly superior second album "Acquiring the Taste". I just can't help but feel that this band was really good at shooting itself in the foot, and "Interview" was a major misstep.

While "Interview" is (for the most part) a depressing and humorless affair, it cannot be written off as a total loss. Over half of the songs are pretty good. And even the weaker songs are not terrible; they're just not that terribly engaging. Strip this album of the ridiculous concept and knock of a couple tracks...and you've got a really good EP. The bonus track version is worth hunting down for some nice live performances of cuts from this album and their 1976 concert intro.

Overall grade: It really hurts me to do this but I give it a C+. It is worth acquiring for hardcore fans, but will hardly convert any neophytes.

Fenrispuppy | 2/5 |

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