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Free Hand - a 1* album

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Poll Question: Is Free Hand a 1* album?
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62 [79.49%]
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Dayvenkirq View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 14:12
Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" 

Bullsh*t.

Of course that's not an excuse for not putting at least some effort into expressing those misgivings.
I disagree. As I've stated before, ...
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

... I'm pretty sure that there are some people on this website that are aware of their inability to appreciate certain things that others see as true merits (and maybe even enjoy the presence of those merits). If I don't understand something about the music on a particular album, that means I'm not going to write a review on it (Hint: The Raven).
To me writing about something I don't understand is just silly.


My point is that understanding music of all things is a pitfall. It's just another barrier and something thrown about by people as a defense. You certainly experience it in some way. You can hopefully express what you experience. You find that experience either nice or bad or noisy or lime green or underwhelming or whatever. Not writing a review then effectively muffles a perfectly valid opinion on the basis of some vague concept of not understanding it properly. It's placing the experience of music (which I think is the thing that matters in a review) in an unnecessary theoretical framework.
1) A pitfall? A barrier? Used as defense? How?
2) I don't hold experience and opinion as criteria reflective of the PA rating system.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - April 02 2013 at 14:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LinusW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 14:46
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" 

Bullsh*t.

Of course that's not an excuse for not putting at least some effort into expressing those misgivings.
I disagree. As I've stated before, ...
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

... I'm pretty sure that there are some people on this website that are aware of their inability to appreciate certain things that others see as true merits (and maybe even enjoy the presence of those merits). If I don't understand something about the music on a particular album, that means I'm not going to write a review on it (Hint: The Raven).
To me writing about something I don't understand is just silly.


My point is that understanding music of all things is a pitfall. It's just another barrier and something thrown about by people as a defense. You certainly experience it in some way. You can hopefully express what you experience. You find that experience either nice or bad or noisy or lime green or underwhelming or whatever. Not writing a review then effectively muffles a perfectly valid opinion on the basis of some vague concept of not understanding it properly. It's placing the experience of music (which I think is the thing that matters in a review) in an unnecessary theoretical framework.
1) A pitfall? A barrier? Used as defense? How?
2) I don't hold experience and opinion as criteria reflective of the PA rating system.


1) If you refuse to review based on this lack of understanding, it's a form of self-censorship. Of the bad kind. I'm not saying you're using it as a defense, but that it's often used as a form of defense (a bit strongly worded, perhaps) by people who find their favourites challenged. It turns into a flippant and easy counterargument - "you just don't understand it". But most people do, they just understand things differently.

2) Really? How do you get around words like essential, masterpiece, good and poor in that case? And even if you base your ratings on an abstract median proghead as the ideal for the fuzzy rating system here, how do you decide if something is only for completists, is non-essential, is a masterpiece or for fans only? Surely both experience and opinion comes into play even then.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 14:58
Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" 

Bullsh*t.

Of course that's not an excuse for not putting at least some effort into expressing those misgivings.
I disagree. As I've stated before, ...
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

... I'm pretty sure that there are some people on this website that are aware of their inability to appreciate certain things that others see as true merits (and maybe even enjoy the presence of those merits). If I don't understand something about the music on a particular album, that means I'm not going to write a review on it (Hint: The Raven).
To me writing about something I don't understand is just silly.


My point is that understanding music of all things is a pitfall. It's just another barrier and something thrown about by people as a defense. You certainly experience it in some way. You can hopefully express what you experience. You find that experience either nice or bad or noisy or lime green or underwhelming or whatever. Not writing a review then effectively muffles a perfectly valid opinion on the basis of some vague concept of not understanding it properly. It's placing the experience of music (which I think is the thing that matters in a review) in an unnecessary theoretical framework.
1) A pitfall? A barrier? Used as defense? How?
2) I don't hold experience and opinion as criteria reflective of the PA rating system.


1) If you refuse to review based on this lack of understanding, it's a form of self-censorship. Of the bad kind. I'm not saying you're using it as a defense, but that it's often used as a form of defense (a bit strongly worded, perhaps) by people who find their favourites challenged. It turns into a flippant and easy counterargument - "you just don't understand it". But most people do, they just understand things differently.

2) Really? How do you get around words like essential, masterpiece, good and poor in that case? And even if you base your ratings on an abstract median proghead as the ideal for the fuzzy rating system here, how do you decide if something is only for completists, is non-essential, is a masterpiece or for fans only? Surely both experience and opinion comes into play even then.
1) I think I can see your angle now. Some people may see something while others can't and perceive certain aspects as not very straightforward.

2) 
A. I can always put my own spin on those words. I will use them in a context in such a fashion so that the reader will understand what is my idea of what is "good", what is "poor", tra-la-la-la-la. Now, if I remember correctly, Rogerthat emphasized a number of times that he sees a difference between "essential" and "a masterpiece", and I concur. Since I have to use 5-star ratings sparingly (according to the guidelines), I will probably go with "essential", now that I see it occurring rather less frequently than "masterpieces". God only knows how many masterpieces I know.

B. I've no idea what is "abstract median proghead". An average proghead? Who is this person? (I believe we have a whole thread on that.) 

The bottom line is, even if you think that some readers will think that you didn't do something "right" in your review, then still do the best you can. It is my belief that this is the main idea behind writing a good review: do the best you can. It is also my belief that you can interpret the rating system anyway you can/want.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - April 02 2013 at 15:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote axeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 15:20
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

If you go on to an album with dozens of 4 and 5 star reviews at mark it "Only for completionists" you invalidate your own post (you mean review?)You demonstrate to everybody else that you cannot understand the scheme of the ratings and would rather play ratings hockey.
No, that's not necessarily what it means. It can mean many things.
Sure a five-star system can mean many things, but when you're given specific meanings right by the review box, and those are the meanings in the color bars, I find it hard not to believe that any of those many things are as clear as those express meanings.

And then there's this (which you are asked to agree to:
Quote 8 - Before assigning a star rating to an album, you should ensure you understand what the differing numbers of stars mean..
Kind of sounds like it doesn't mean "many things" if you need to understand what it means and that's part of the "Progarchive guidelines". 

There is an awful lot of context to go off on a tangent inventing possible other meanings. 

That set of meanings give it a specific context about recommend-ability--that's to other people--and not a call for a divine judgment. The one thing that this kind of format gets rid of is critic syndrome of thinking you can dictate the true quality of a piece of work. "No, I didn't like it, but a lot of people seem to," seems to me to be a valid review. 

It should be irrelevant that I wanted to throw up 2/3 of the way through my first listening to Thick as a Brick. (True story.) To this day, I can still only take it in chunks.
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 15:36
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Sure a five-star system can mean many things, but when you're given specific meanings right by the review box, and those are the meanings in the color bars, I find it hard not to believe that any of those many things are as clear as those express meanings.
Believe it. They are very, very vague. There's much more to "good but non-essential" than meets the eye.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

And then there's this (which you are asked to agree to:
Quote 8 - Before assigning a star rating to an album, you should ensure you understand what the differing numbers of stars mean..
Kind of sounds like it doesn't mean "many things" if you need to understand what it means and that's part of the "Progarchive guidelines".
Where does it say in the guidelines what every rating means
exactly? And people understand the system differently. Check out this discussion I'm having with Linus on this thread.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

There is an awful lot of context to go off on a tangent inventing possible other meanings.
Really? 'Cause I bet that a lot of those meanings would sound valid to me. For instance, what do you understand by "good but non-essential"? And remember: this is a tired and tried topic.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

That set of meanings give it a specific context about recommend-ability--that's to other people--and not a call for a divine judgment. That set of meanings give it a specific context about recommend-ability--that's to other people--and not a call for a divine judgment. The one thing that this kind of format gets rid of is critic syndrome of thinking you can dictate the true quality of a piece of work.
I've no idea what you just said there.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - April 02 2013 at 15:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bonnek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 15:37
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

So far ten PA users think Free hand is a one star album. I find that rather depressing.Disapprove


You shouldn't be, you should found comfort that not all of them feel the need to express that in a review. Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 15:54
There is something so right about Freehand, they achieve something there the other albums don't quite have. It will always be my favorite.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LinusW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 15:57
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by LinusW LinusW wrote:

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" 

Bullsh*t.

Of course that's not an excuse for not putting at least some effort into expressing those misgivings.
I disagree. As I've stated before, ...
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

... I'm pretty sure that there are some people on this website that are aware of their inability to appreciate certain things that others see as true merits (and maybe even enjoy the presence of those merits). If I don't understand something about the music on a particular album, that means I'm not going to write a review on it (Hint: The Raven).
To me writing about something I don't understand is just silly.


My point is that understanding music of all things is a pitfall. It's just another barrier and something thrown about by people as a defense. You certainly experience it in some way. You can hopefully express what you experience. You find that experience either nice or bad or noisy or lime green or underwhelming or whatever. Not writing a review then effectively muffles a perfectly valid opinion on the basis of some vague concept of not understanding it properly. It's placing the experience of music (which I think is the thing that matters in a review) in an unnecessary theoretical framework.
1) A pitfall? A barrier? Used as defense? How?
2) I don't hold experience and opinion as criteria reflective of the PA rating system.


1) If you refuse to review based on this lack of understanding, it's a form of self-censorship. Of the bad kind. I'm not saying you're using it as a defense, but that it's often used as a form of defense (a bit strongly worded, perhaps) by people who find their favourites challenged. It turns into a flippant and easy counterargument - "you just don't understand it". But most people do, they just understand things differently.

2) Really? How do you get around words like essential, masterpiece, good and poor in that case? And even if you base your ratings on an abstract median proghead as the ideal for the fuzzy rating system here, how do you decide if something is only for completists, is non-essential, is a masterpiece or for fans only? Surely both experience and opinion comes into play even then.
1) I think I can see your angle now. Some people may see something while others can't and perceive certain aspects as not very straightforward.

2) 
A. I can always put my own spin on those words. I will use them in a context in such a fashion so that the reader will understand what is my idea of what is "good", what is "poor", tra-la-la-la-la. Now, if I remember correctly, Rogerthat emphasized a number of times that he sees a difference between "essential" and "a masterpiece", and I concur. Since I have to use 5-star ratings sparingly (according to the guidelines), I will probably go with "essential", now that I see it occurring rather less frequently than "masterpieces". God only knows how many masterpieces I know.

B. I've no idea what is "abstract median proghead". An average proghead? Who is this person? (I believe we have a whole thread on that.) 

The bottom line is, even if you think that some readers will think that you didn't do something "right" in your review, then still do the best you can.


1)...and some people can see (or more accurately hear) the same thing and experience it wildly different. That experience is still valid. In turn, it's not valid for all readers, but for some. And that's the whole point of having this huge collection of reviews (and reviews with dissenting opinions), isn't it? To offer a wide range of opinions and experiences from different listeners to an audience of very different readers in order for them to pick up on reviewers who either share their taste or express themselves in a way that the reader can understand and associate to, regardless of the rating. Otherwise it's all just opinions in space, hopelessly shouted about on the Internet. Which is fair enough, I guess.

2) A: "I can always put my own spin on those words. I will use them in a context in such a fashion so that the reader will understand what is my idea of what is "good", what is "poor", tra-la-la-la-la." - that sounds like experience and opinion to me Smile

B: Just a way to try and demonstrate that even if you disregarded your own personal rating and focused on a pseudo-objective "this is my favourite prog album evah but it's not essential. 3 stars" you base that non-essentiality (erm...) on how you perceive the prog community at large. Opinion/experience blabla...

Anyway, this has moved on beyond my initial complaint. I'm out! Thumbs Up

Oh, and yay quote pyramid!



Edited by LinusW - April 02 2013 at 15:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 16:47
Yeah, I was afraid this whole mess, the discussion scope and the pyramid, would go out of hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TGM: Orb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 16:57
Ermm

In the words of a very wise man, 'No, I didn't miss anything. There can be no other rating for this than the lowest. I would give it zero if I could.'

Incidentally, just saw that someone reviewed Stormcock, saying 'I did not pay attention to the lyrics, but I think that these are not decisive for the quality of an album to be classified in the "prog" genre.'... incredible... actually...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 17:18
^ What's so wise about the quote?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 18:31
Originally posted by lucas lucas wrote:

Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@lucas It was no trouble to write. I'm glad you appreciate my 'audacity'. I should also like to encourage you to give, to paraphrase the old expression, a 'discouraging word' or at least a hundred about some GG albums. I understand why some folks who don't find the band particularly listenable avoid reviewing their releases, ie. they try to be positive people, and avert themselves from spreading negativity. But these guys need to receive a more diverse spectrum of commentary than they do. 

OK I will write my one-star review. And will try this exercise with other bands like Opeth or Porcupine Tree.  


As a collaborator you get 20x weighting, so unlike the case of Tubes here it actually is pretty irresponsible of you to purposely manipulate ratings.  "Only for completionists" is a pretty specific criterion.


Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

 
¹ Because giving 1-star ratings to things we don't like rather than to things that are actually bad seema to be the way we do things around here. Never fully understood that rationale myself, but there you go, what do I know?



Edited by Triceratopsoil - April 03 2013 at 07:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote axeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 19:31
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Where does it say in the guidelines what every rating means exactly? And people understand the system differently.
Just because something doesn't have an exact meaning, doesn't mean that an album with dozens of 4 star and 5 star reviews can be labeled "for completionists only". 

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

... I bet that a lot of those meanings would sound valid to me. For instance, what do you understand by "good but non-essential"?
Well, that rating is dead center, so it has a range anywhere from "for fans or collectors" to "a good addition to any collection". 

Would you recommend it to any prog fan? It's a 4. Is it only for fans of that particular group? That's a 2. Roughly, everything else is 3-territory. And that's fine, because it is the center. I would even say most prog fans, with a few key exceptions, say, probably not for tech metal fans...., would rate a 4 as well. 

Of course, one of the problems, I find is that as prog expands in silos. The "welcome addition to any prog collection" would be harder and harder to define. 

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

I've no idea what you just said there.
I'll take a second stab at it then. 

Basically, the reviews of professional critics often give the tone that they can pronounce the final verdict separating the good from the bad. It prompts the same basic a-hattery that pushed prog out of the public.  When you put it into the frame of recommending for other prog fans, you might not be able to recommend something that has actual value. If you give somebody else enough to decide if their tastes are like yours, then perhaps you might save them a couple bucks.  

Framed as recommendations with a focus on audience of that recommendation, it reminds us that this is a vastly subjective field. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 19:31
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@BrufordFreak, what the hell is with that closing statement, dude? You ARE a freak (just kidding). And to counter your point, I've seen and heard enough GG live stuff to know they suck even worse without the studio. I'm not arguing this with anybody; don't waste my time. You also assert that they "worked hard and were very serious at what they did." Gentle Giant are the least serious and least deliberately committed 'prog' band I have ever heard. Gentle Giant, unlike almost every important classic progressive rock group, has no single magnum opus peice of music, let alone several as there are in many cases. They never made an epic, so to speak. Yes has Awaken and the Gates of Delirium which are about the attainment of immortality upon death, and the Second Advent of Christ, respectively. Very solemn stuff. Genesis has Supper's Ready, inspired by a supernatural experience of Peter Gabriel's and the Book of Revelation. Jethro Tull has at least the My God side of Aqualung, which criticizes organized religion. Even Thick as a Brick, despite it's parodic nature, has a lot to say. They don't sound like they have any self-respect as musicians or writers, wasting so much record space on their 30 minute albums (Average record playing length is 40 minutes, and Genesis consistently delivered upwards of 50 mintutes) with musical comedy. You know what's hilarious? -That Thick as a Brick, which is a commentary on the rubbish that passes for culture, went to No. 1! Could that be more ironic!?! I've never heard Gentle Giant top that.

Pretty sure neither Awaken and Gates or whatever are about  the second advent of christLOL---that is really a bridge too far if you know anything about what these guys thought about and believed---has little to do with christianity per se.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geneyesontle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 19:38
No way. It's my second favorite GG album.
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I would say no but people are entitled to their opinions
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2013 at 20:21
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Where does it say in the guidelines what every rating means exactly? And people understand the system differently.
Just because something doesn't have an exact meaning, doesn't mean that an album with dozens of 4 star and 5 star reviews can be labeled "for completionists only".
I don't know. That depends.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

... I bet that a lot of those meanings would sound valid to me. For instance, what do you understand by "good but non-essential"?
Well, that rating is dead center, so it has a range anywhere from "for fans or collectors" to "a good addition to any collection". 

Would you recommend it to any prog fan? It's a 4. Is it only for fans of that particular group? That's a 2. Roughly, everything else is 3-territory. And that's fine, because it is the center. I would even say most prog fans, with a few key exceptions, say, probably not for tech metal fans...., would rate a 4 as well.
You see? This is exactly what I was saying: the interpretation of the ratings varies from person to person. I would interpret the three-star rating differently.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Of course, one of the problems, I find is that as prog expands in silos. The "welcome addition to any prog collection" would be harder and harder to define.
I don't understand what you've said there.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Basically, the reviews of professional critics often give the tone that they can pronounce the final verdict separating the good from the bad. It prompts the same basic a-hattery that pushed prog out of the public.  When you put it into the frame of recommending for other prog fans, you might not be able to recommend something that has actual value.
I really don't know about that. I think it is possible to put whatever tone you want in your review (as long as it is not really offensive) and still recommend something of value (however you want to do that).
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

If you give somebody else enough to decide if their tastes are like yours, then perhaps you might save them a couple bucks.
How does one link taste to economy?
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

Framed as recommendations with a focus on audience of that recommendation, it reminds us that this is a vastly subjective field.
What reminds us that what is a vastly subjective field?


Edited by Dayvenkirq - April 02 2013 at 20:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2013 at 00:58
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by Tom Ozric Tom Ozric wrote:

'Three Friends' is Giant's finest hour for me Approve
Amen, brother! Wish I could do the fancy "shake" with a "dynamite", so instead I'll do Handshake
yeah, what is with the icons - sometimes the 'headbanger' or the dude banging his head against the wall shows up, sometimes it's the boring same-old same-old..................??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote irrelevant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2013 at 03:06
Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

There is something so right about Freehand, they achieve something there the other albums don't quite have. It will always be my favorite.

Rarely do you hear a prog album, or any kind of album for that matter, that sounds so sure. A massive achievement and quite possibly my favourite album of all time. It's just kick-ass solid prog rock from start to finish. 

Also, thumbs up for being a fellow fan of The Missing Piece. Thumbs Up 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TGM: Orb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2013 at 03:42
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ What's so wise about the quote?


Well, it's from Hercules' one star review of Pawn Hearts...
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