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Free Hand - a 1* album

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Topic: Free Hand - a 1* album
Posted By: Hercules
Subject: Free Hand - a 1* album
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:15
Rarely does a review enrage me, but to see my favourite GG album damned so completely has done do.
 
Do we agree with the reviewer?


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I have many faults. Being wrong is not one of them.



Replies:
Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:37
He has the right to review it however he wants


he just might look pretty stupid


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http://www.last.fm/user/TullDerGraff" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: The Mystical
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:39
If this review gets taken down, I am leaving ProgArchives.

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I am currently digging:

Hawkwind, Rare Bird, Gong, Tangerine Dream, Khan, Iron Butterfly, and all things canterbury and hard-psych. I also love jazz!

Please drop me a message with album suggestions.


Posted By: Sagichim
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:44
I've rated albums with 1 star when others gave it 5. Nothing wrong with that.
It depends on what he writes inside, and what are the reasons for his 1 star rating.


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"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.."


Posted By: HolyMoly
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:46
I think it's a great review, and I disagree with everything in the review.  The two are different things. No vote.


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My other avatar is a Porsche / http://raregoat.bandcamp.com" rel="nofollow - RARE GOAT bandcamp page

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it is lightly greased.
-Kehlog Albran


Posted By: irrelevant
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:56
Free Hand is a five star album to me, and is one of the few I'd give those full marks to. I'm surprised that review has received as much attention as it has, (BTW, I didn't read much of it). 

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http://superdensecrushloadfactor.bandcamp.com/" rel="nofollow - Superdensecrushloadfactor


Posted By: Sagichim
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 07:56
But he sure does love VDGG.

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"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.."


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 08:03
I don't agree with it but at least he seems to know what he is talking about and the review is well enough articulated, so no hard feelings, he is entitled to give his opinion.


Posted By: ScorchedFirth
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 08:10
Well aside from a few places where it possibly verges on unduly rude, I think the review is fine. I certainly don't agree (although free hand is not my favourite GG album) with it AT ALL. It seems [bad joke]so sincere[/bad joke] to me, and that's what matters most.

As a big neo-prog fan I've lost count of the number of times I've had to endure some of my absolute favourites being savaged, but I wouldn't want to delete the reviews, I'd rather have a fair reflection of the overall opinion, even if I disagree with it vehemently.

That's not to say I can't be disappointed. I think I only get angry if it's clear someone has been lazy, or is writing the review for cynical reasons, or just dislikes everything in a subgenre and want to write it off, gives 1 star.

However, It would make me feel less inclined to speak my mind and give sincere 1 star reviews to albums I think warrant it if i thought people would get angry at me personally, and surely this isn't a situation we want to foster.

Still, Free Hand is a great album, so I'm obviously going to vote "No", but I put all my waffling preamble to that just so I'm clear about what my answer means.


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breathing, eating, defecating, screwing, drinking, spewing, sleeping...



Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 08:11
saying my favorite GG only gets one star is overstating things and seems meant to get attention---which of course he has! lol Opinions are like "a*******s" we all have one----and the proof-- he loves VDGG --a group I don't get at all. 
So, there you go.LOL


Posted By: The Mystical
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 08:17
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

I think it's a great review, and I disagree with everything in the review.  The two are different things. No vote.

This.


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I am currently digging:

Hawkwind, Rare Bird, Gong, Tangerine Dream, Khan, Iron Butterfly, and all things canterbury and hard-psych. I also love jazz!

Please drop me a message with album suggestions.


Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 08:26
Absolutely not a 1 star album, and I fall in love with it everytime I get to the 50 second mark in the first track, at the bouncy `I'm just doing what I want to do....' bit!   


Posted By: Stool Man
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 08:54
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

I think it's a great review, and I disagree with everything in the review.  The two are different things. No vote.
 
This.


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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: Hercules
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:00
Originally posted by The Mystical The Mystical wrote:

If this review gets taken down, I am leaving ProgArchives.
 
I completely agree with you. He has a perfect right to express his views and I have a perfect right to (vehemently)disagree with him.
 
Two years ago, I would have rated most VDGG albums (which he seems to love) as 1/2* because i really don't like their music. Now I would rate most of them 3* because they are just not to my taste rather than awful music.
 
 


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I have many faults. Being wrong is not one of them.


Posted By: ShW1
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:03
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

He has the right to review it however he want

he just might look pretty stupid



agree.

for things like that he could use the 2 stars rating.

I for one, dont like VDGG, so I wont waste my time listening, reviewing or rating this band.


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:21
No idea what review and without the common courtesy of providing a link I  never will.

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Coldness doth get away with the badness. http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Progosopher
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:23
A surprising rating, given all the praise this album has received.  At the same time it is a well-written review, both informed and informative.  I disagree with the rating, so I voted "No," but the implication that such reviews should not be posted is inappropriate.  We each have our own take on things.  Part of the value of sites such as this is to read a variety of views and gain insight into a variety of experiences.

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The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"


Posted By: mohaveman
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:40
I don't agree with the review but it's an opinion so won't fight it

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And it's only the giving that makes you...what you are".


Posted By: Padraic
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:42
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

No idea what review and without the common courtesy of providing a link I  never will.

This.


Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:45
Originally posted by Progosopher Progosopher wrote:

A surprising rating, given all the praise this album has received.  At the same time it is a well-written review, both informed and informative.  I disagree with the rating, so I voted "No," but the implication that such reviews should not be posted is inappropriate.  We each have our own take on things.  Part of the value of sites such as this is to read a variety of views and gain insight into a variety of experiences.

Agree--but I'd be curious to know if reviewer likes/appreciates GG at all---if he does than this star rating doesn't make sense--I mean Rolling Stone hated Yes (generally speaking) so all of their reviews were generally bad, and or sarcastic. But I'd read them all and get sick to my stomachLOLI think reviewers have to go in with an open mind---or else you aren't going to get much from it---someone here said it--they don't like VDGG and wouldn't bother doing a review of it---which is where I'm coming from too.


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 09:47
Originally posted by Padraic Padraic wrote:

Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

No idea what review and without the common courtesy of providing a link I  never will.

This.

Handshake


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Coldness doth get away with the badness. http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Manuel
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 10:37
I personally like free hand a lot, but I respect other's opinions, which is what happens with these reviews. Most of us don't have any musical training, so we rely mainly on what we like, on our taste. I know a lot of people don't agree with this, but is a whole different thing when you know about composition, scales, progressions, etc. Is like commenting on sports when you've never been on the field, easy to judge, but hard to understand or to have a clue of what it takes.  


Posted By: Guldbamsen
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 10:40
Is Free Hand a 1* album?
Not to me personally, but I respect others who feel it is. I rather like the review in question, even if I don't agree with it.

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“The Guide says there is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

- Douglas Adams


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 10:58
I would be less generous. I think any prog fan who gives it one star is an idiot and unlike the post above  I would  never respect that opinion or  the  person giving it.

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Coldness doth get away with the badness. http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: someone_else
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 11:45
I don't think Free Hand is a one star album, I'd rather say five. But if this is the reviewer's opinion, then so be it. As a review it is good enough, like it or not, agree with it or not, and I don't feel tempted to report it.

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Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 11:47
This is an April Fools jokeLOL


Posted By: HolyMoly
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 11:49
Originally posted by twosteves twosteves wrote:

This is an April Fools jokeLOL
You may be right... Ermm


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My other avatar is a Porsche / http://raregoat.bandcamp.com" rel="nofollow - RARE GOAT bandcamp page

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it is lightly greased.
-Kehlog Albran


Posted By: smartpatrol
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 11:58
4.5*

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http://bit.ly/1kqTR8y" rel="nofollow">

The greatest record label of all time!


Posted By: lucas
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 12:04
Good review, by someone who knows his prog and with pertinent comments in his track by track analysis.
I like when people don't follow the majority and express objectively their views on an album.


I also never understood the appeal for Gentle Giant.



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"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 12:05
I think the review itself is not bad neither offensive (a bit for the band, maybe) but he demonstrates to know what he's writing about and has the rights to dislike it.

It's a GG album that I don't have so I can't tell if he's right or wrong, but just today I've seen this sentence in a post:

"Floyd are far from top 10 material. Not overly talented musicians and average composers. Dark side is pretty boring"

The writer has the right to think so even if I can't disagree more.


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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: Neu!mann
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 12:23

Every popular album listed on this site deserves (requires!) a contrary opinion, but is it really possible to argue that every opinion is valid, just because it's subjective? Food for thought...

Personally, I find it silly to criticize an almost 40-year old album for its "very dated-sounding keyboards", and this album in particular for its "repetitive riffery" and lack of "melodic variation or recapitulation" (I'd love to read this reviewer's comments about Tony Conrad's Outside the Dream Syndicate).
 
Consider too the possibility of a deliberate prank: how else to explain the observation that the song Time to Kill is "literally about a guy who has time, takes it, and goes places!" I smell a troll, with his tongue somewhat in cheek.
 
The number of stars we award any album really says more about us than the music itself, which isn't affected one way or the other. Yes: opinions are like a****les, so maybe it's better to just look the other way when someone insists on showing us his soiled underwear...


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"Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 12:36
Originally posted by Neu!mann Neu!mann wrote:

Every popular album listed on this site deserves (requires!) a contrary opinion, but is it really possible to argue that every opinion is valid, just because it's subjective? Food for thought...

Personally, I find it silly to criticize an almost 40-year old album for its "very dated-sounding keyboards", and this album in particular for its "repetitive riffery" and lack of "melodic variation or recapitulation" (I'd love to read this reviewer's comments about Tony Conrad's Outside the Dream Syndicate).
 
Consider too the possibility of a deliberate prank: how else to explain the observation that the song Time to Kill is "literally about a guy who has time, takes it, and goes places!" I smell a troll, with his tongue somewhat in cheek.
 
The number of stars we award any album really says more about us than the music itself, which isn't affected one way or the other. Yes: opinions are like a****les, so maybe it's better to just look the other way when someone insists on showing us his soiled underwear...
A guy with two 5-stars ratings to VDGG and one 1-star review is not a troll. Not the most trustable reviewer of the site, but not a troll.


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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: BrufordFreak
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 15:25
Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

Originally posted by The Mystical The Mystical wrote:

If this review gets taken down, I am leaving ProgArchives.
 
I completely agree with you. He has a perfect right to express his views and I have a perfect right to (vehemently)disagree with him.
 
Two years ago, I would have rated most VDGG albums (which he seems to love) as 1/2* because i really don't like their music. Now I would rate most of them 3* because they are just not to my taste rather than awful music.
 
 

Me, too, (though the VDGG appreciation occurred for me about a year ago).


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Drew Fisher, Second Cloud on the Left Farm
La Farge, Wisconsin


Posted By: Man With Hat
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 15:26
Nope

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Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 15:33
Found the freaking review (it's the latest as of the time of this writing, hehe):  http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=937841" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=937841

Haven't read it yet, though I'll take some time to read it tonight.

A one-star album?

By the way, what is this "emotional intelligence" he is referring to?


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: DisgruntledPorcupine
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 15:39
What's this? Someone doesn't like something I like? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 20:31
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

I think it's a great review, and I disagree with everything in the review.  The two are different things. No vote.


His review reads like about a 2.5* to me though

1* means it has no redeeming features


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http://www.last.fm/user/TullDerGraff" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 20:32
^ Not sure if having two-three decent moments on an album counts as redeeming features.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 23:40
While I feel that my review of Free Hand should stand on its own merits, I also feel compelled at the moment to defend its stance. @twosteves and @HolyMoly, my entry was not an April Fool's joke. Actually, I tried to be as serious and objective as my highly opinionated nature would permit, simultaneously expressing my honest views. @Hercules, I do not quite understand the reasons for your offense at the critique in question; I can't say of a certainty, but I have a hunch that neither you nor a member of your household wrote or even played on Free Hand, therefore it is not your 'accomplishment' (if it can be so called) of which to be proud. Remember: a lot of folks don't realize that an offense (real or imagined) 'committed' against their sensibilities is THEIR problem. @Neu!mann The keyboards on the record are indeed dated-sounding, regardless of the time at which it was recorded. Let's take Tony Bank's palette on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway; they're infinitely more advanced and expressive than anything I hear on modern mainstream radio. Or listen to the keyboard introduction to Yes' Face to Face from the Ladder. It has a very similar tone to the riff of LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It, yet preceded that abomination by 12 years and, honestly, is far more virtuoso and engaging. Furthermore, are you implying that sharing my views in such manner as I did present them is tantamount to publicly soiling myself? I think your manners are questionable. @Triceratopsoil and @Dayvenkirq, let me pose a question for you: Is listening to 35 minutes of rap really worth hearing 30 seconds of a sampled edit of 21st Century Schizoid Man? I don't believe so. @Snow Dog, that's fine, but you'll not receive my respect in return for the 'favor'. By the way, you might feel more inclined to restrain your enthusiasm for certain albums, if you would take care of what I'll guess is an unfortunate cocaine problem, SNOW Dog. I can be funny when I want. @The Mystical and many others: I'll conclude with thanks for all your support. Reviewers shouldn't be discouraged from writing genuine and (hopefully) helpful entries on this website, or anywhere else for that matter. This should be every critic's intention, and provide the measure of his success. Take some advice from another poor prog-related song: "Be yourself, give your free will a chance - you've got to want to succeed." 


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 23:43
^ That's really hardcore.
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@Triceratopsoil and @Dayvenkirq, let me pose a question for you: Is listening to 35 minutes of rap really worth hearing 30 seconds of a sampled edit of 21st Century Schizoid Man? I don't believe so.
I don't understand how that's relevant ... not to mention that your question doesn't make much sense.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 01 2013 at 23:52
@Dayvenkirq I'm supporting your proposition that, "having two-three decent moments on an album.." is not exactly redemption for it's numerous faults. I provided an example in the form of a hypothetical question. 


Posted By: smartpatrol
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 00:06
Free Hand is probably my 6th favorite GG album. 4.5 stars imo 

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http://bit.ly/1kqTR8y" rel="nofollow">

The greatest record label of all time!


Posted By: iluvmarillion
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:03
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@Dayvenkirq I'm supporting your proposition that, "having two-three decent moments on an album.." is not exactly redemption for it's numerous faults. I provided an example in the form of a hypothetical question. 

Being able to write well and articulate an opinion is totally different in my opinion to understanding a complex piece of work like Free Hand, so I suggest you re-listen to the album and rewrite your review. You remind me of certain professional film critics who come from a journalistic background and write film reviews without the slightest understanding of movie making apart from digesting a couple of text books on films. 


Posted By: lucas
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:06
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@The Mystical and many others: I'll conclude with thanks for all your support. Reviewers shouldn't be discouraged from writing genuine and (hopefully) helpful entries on this website, or anywhere else for that matter. This should be every critic's intention, and provide the measure of his success. Take some advice from another poor prog-related song: "Be yourself, give your free will a chance - you've got to want to succeed." 
Welcome tubes, thank you for your objective review of FH. Unlike many forum members here, I also have a problem with GG (just like with many "major" modern prog acts like Opeth and Porcupine Tree). 


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"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)


Posted By: lucas
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:19
Originally posted by iluvmarillion iluvmarillion wrote:

Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@Dayvenkirq I'm supporting your proposition that, "having two-three decent moments on an album.." is not exactly redemption for it's numerous faults. I provided an example in the form of a hypothetical question. 

Being able to write well and articulate an opinion is totally different in my opinion to understanding a complex piece of work like Free Hand, so I suggest you re-listen to the album and rewrite your review. You remind me of certain professional film critics who come from a journalistic background and write film reviews without the slightest understanding of movie making apart from digesting a couple of text books on films. 
You remind me of a dictator who censors his citizens


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"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:22
Ok, let's cool the Efreeti.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:24
@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. 


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:31
^ But why? What use is this spectrum? Besides, 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).

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 01:35
@iluvmarillion I've listened to Free Hand in full over two dozen times, and several tracks about four dozen times. At one point I enjoyed some moments, but as I listened again my fondness waned because... this album has no replay value. Free Hand is replete with music that lacks that standard in prog, and all real music, of enduring quality. Whereas I've listened to classic Yes songs like Heart of the Sunrise, Long Distance Runaround, and Yours is No Disgrace thousands of times, with just a handful of periods of having heard them enough for the time being. 


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 02:18
Hi all, first of all this is a poll which takes its question from a review appeared on the home page.
This is not a trial versus the review or the reviewer. The qusetion is "Do you agree or not?".

If anybody thinks that the review is improper there's a forum section "report reviews and ratings" which is the place where this kind of thing are discussed. 

I disagree with owner of a lonely heart being "poor and related" but I'm sure that there's a lot of people even in this forum who agrees totally with Tubes. I may start a thread asking about that song.

What I think was the big mistake is how the question was put which was presuming the disagreement.
The site rules are clear: if it's a proper review and is not offensive it's ok.



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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 02:46
^ Well, I think the OP would probably agree with you. This is just a chance to discuss certain details of the review. 1) Offense and impropriety and 2) disagreement are two different stories.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 03:05
The only 1* album Gentle Giant ever made was 'Giant For A Day'.  If some folks here think that GFAD is better than Freehand, then Head on wall


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 03:18
@Tom Ozric, Giant for a Day deserves negative stars. 


Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 03:27
Guys, I expected the worst when I played `Giant For A Day' for the first time, but found it all rather pleasant if totally forgettable and undemanding. There's the odd catchy moment on it here and there!

Then again, I'm always fascinated when a complex prog band experiments with poppy arrangements, sometimes it works well, other times it's a train wreck!

Clearly many feel `Giant For A Day' is the latter!


Posted By: Moogtron III
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 03:51
I think it's refreshing to have a one star review of a record that's very popular among prog fans.
As long as it's written with consideration and after careful examination, that's fine with me.
We don't want group think on the site, do we? And then find out that the emperor has no clothes after all.
Also, we're talking about a non-collaborator/ prog reviewer review here.
Personally I like "Free Hand" BTW.


Posted By: kit-kat
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:09
I have not heard Free Hand yet so I can't comment on the album, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the review, there are enough "this is one of the best Gentle Giant albums, absolute masterpiece" type of reviews anyway and he's entitled to share his opinion as long as it's not offensive (and I don't think it is). I've also given low ratings to very popular, acclaimed albums and if I wrote a review on any Mars Volta album, that would probably look much, much worse... LOL


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:13
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

 @Snow Dog, that's fine, but you'll not receive my respect in return for the 'favor'. By the way, you might feel more inclined to restrain your enthusiasm for certain albums, if you would take care of what I'll guess is an unfortunate cocaine problem, SNOW Dog. I can be funny when I want.  

Believe me, I do not require or need your  respect. Infact with your comment you made here I have nothing but contempt for you and everything you say or write.


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Coldness doth get away with the badness. http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:22
No No No, a little more humanity, please.................LOL
If folks know their Rush, we have By Tor - so why can't we have Snow Dog ?? 
'Three Friends' is Giant's finest hour for me Approve


Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:28
Tom, two nights ago I noticed my CD of `Acquring The Taste' and thought `Hmmmm, barely ever listened to that one....', and now several istens later it's like discovering it for the first time!

`Three Friends' is probably the best album for a Giant newbie to get in to....Probably the easiest to get your head around! I think I prefer `Free Hand', `Octopus' and `Acquiring The Taste' to `Friends', but honestly, all damn good! :)


Posted By: iluvmarillion
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:37
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@iluvmarillion I've listened to Free Hand in full over two dozen times, and several tracks about four dozen times. At one point I enjoyed some moments, but as I listened again my fondness waned because... this album has no replay value. Free Hand is replete with music that lacks that standard in prog, and all real music, of enduring quality. Whereas I've listened to classic Yes songs like Heart of the Sunrise, Long Distance Runaround, and Yours is No Disgrace thousands of times, with just a handful of periods of having heard them enough for the time being. 

Hope that I haven't been misinterpreted because I'm against most forms of censorship and there was nothing in your review that was offensive in any way, or anything that was reportable. I just happen to strongly disagree with you that Free Hand is a one star album. You either like the album, which I view as a piece of art (like a painting, literature, poem, film etc.) or dislike it which is fair enough, as everyone has a different opinion. But to use some objective analysis such as lacking enough time signature changes, to justify criticizing the album, is in my opinion a mistake as you could lay that claim against multiple artists such as Mike Oldfield and Phillip Glass. Maybe just stick to reviewing VGG whom you happen to like and leave the reviews of Gentle Giant to people who love GG (myself included). I just wish you you could see Free Hand as the highly original work I believe it to be, rather than the colourless score you believe it to be.


Posted By: Bonnek
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:45

It's been a while since I played this but the reviewer made some points I would agree to, as I concluded http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=308068" rel="nofollow - my own review of this album with "Hardly 2 stars for me.

I have no problem with GG in general, I even like their first 3 albums very much but this one no, not at all.


Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 04:47
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

 @Snow Dog, that's fine, but you'll not receive my respect in return for the 'favor'. By the way, you might feel more inclined to restrain your enthusiasm for certain albums, if you would take care of what I'll guess is an unfortunate cocaine problem, SNOW Dog. I can be funny when I want.  
Believe me, I do not require or need your  respect. Infact with your comment you made here I have nothing but contempt for you and everything you say or write.
Yeah that was a deeply stupid remark; accusing someone of being a drug addict because they say the same things about your opinion you said about an album is puerile;  you write a negative review of a loved record and don't be surprised to have your views ridiculed.   Par for the course.

BTW, "Snowdog" is a Rush reference.   You must know that, yeah?




Posted By: BarryGlibb
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 05:27
Apparently Tubes is also a friend of Jethro Tull's Warchild...which is great as I too really llke Warchild. See Tubes' post here towards bottom of page.......

http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=73958&PN=34

(I couldn't help but giving him an ironic reply to this Warchild post, after just having read his Free Hand review!)

I am looking forward to Tubes' review of Warchild.




Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 05:49
If someone wishes to give a dearly loved album a 1* review, then that is their bad luck - perhaps they don't have the faculties to discern the album's value - or, they just don't like it.  Big deal. 


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 07:48
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ But why? What use is this spectrum?


Usually they call it "rating manipulation," it works out to "I don't really like this and I think it's rated too high so my review will be accompanied by a 1* rating instead of 2*


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http://www.last.fm/user/TullDerGraff" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 08:20
Originally posted by Tubes Tubes wrote:

@Dayvenkirq I'm supporting your proposition that, "having two-three decent moments on an album.." is not exactly redemption for it's numerous faults. I provided an example in the form of a hypothetical question. 

having two or three decent moments---depending on the length of time in those moments---(especially if "we must have waited all our lives for those moments" make it a two starLOL

still want it to be an APril Fools joke, but worst than the over the top hate review of Free Hand which I can accept 100% ---what I can't accept is quoting a Yes West song.LOL


Posted By: kenethlevine
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 08:28
I would go so far as to say I can't stand GG, but I'd also be hard pressed to give an album of theirs less than (or more than, perhaps) 2 stars


Posted By: axeman
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 08:47
For me it's not so much about being a maverick or having your own set of tastes or opinions or anything like that. And on my side, it's not about my favorite album being gored (For clarification, it's not my favorite album). It's about understanding what the ratings mean

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 demonstrate to everybody else that you cannot understand the scheme of the ratings and would rather play ratings hockey. You just don't understand that this is about other people and not just about you

If you think that that many people wouldn't like it because you really, really don't, then I can only say that you're really, really not getting the concept. 



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-John


Posted By: presdoug
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 09:27
Freehand is my favorite GG album, i feel it's their very best.

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"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 11:04
@Triceratopsoil I'm not utilizing "rating manipulation". I genuinely think it to be a contrived, and half-hearted effort that belies the putative 'creative freedom' that Chrysalis gave them. There's an obvious pop-sensibility to a good lot of Free Hand (this is reason enough for my suspicion of 'executive' pressure), and regardless of how well you feel that worked (in my case, not at all - awfully, in fact), Chrysalis forced an(other) album that was marred by rushed songwriting, stripped arrangements, and general lack of energy.


Posted By: BrufordFreak
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 11:24
Tubes (Hello! from across the River):  A key for my ability to "get," appreciate and eventually enjoy GG was watching their live performances (many available on YouTube). These guys worked hard and were very serious at what they did. And they looked like they were having some fun. Their collective creative spirit was certainly odd for the day (and perhaps still is), but their product was, to my mind, sincere and unique. I know I would have enjoyed attending one of their concerts--just to see the mid-song quick-changes of instruments would've satisfied my musical muse.

Welcome to PA. Hope you enjoy your visit. Just remember: You can check out anytime you like BUT YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE!!Embarrassed


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Drew Fisher, Second Cloud on the Left Farm
La Farge, Wisconsin


Posted By: lucas
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 12:41
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.  


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"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)


Posted By: LinusW
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 12:59
Strongly negative reviews are often followed by outrage here. Especially when dealing with popular albums. It's in the natural way of things, sure, but too often there are voices shouting "stick to reviewing music you enjoy/understand/get" etc. I think that's disheartening. To start with, it's a bit petty and territorial - and the prevalence of such an attitude will devalue the musical profile of the reviewers here. Understanding what people dislike and why is as vital for me as the opposite, when taking their recommendations to heart. Perhaps this is most important if you follow and trust a number of reviewers, rather than occasionally read random reviews on the front page, but I think it adds a lot of value regardless.

"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. Neither is it a reason to crash appreciation threads or trolololol around the forum. That's just plain dumb and uninteresting.

But when did we get so easily offended by just about everything we don't agree with?


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http://www.last.fm/user/LinusW88" rel="nofollow - Blargh


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:14
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.
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

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: KingCrInuYasha
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:25
I greatly disagree with his review; however, as long as he's basing his opinion on his own personal taste instead of basing on some hack philosophy on music a la Wayne McGuire, I will not hold it against him for not liking the album. One man's treasure is another man's pile of Censored, as they say.

BTW, I don't think "His Last Voyage" was plagiarized from PFM's "VIa Lumiere", though 'Via Lumiere" is a good track.


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He looks at this world and wants it all... so he strikes, like Thunderball!


Posted By: Tubes
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:31
@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.


Posted By: KingCrInuYasha
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:50
Okay, I can understand you not liking Gentle Giant for being repetitive and unmemorable (or memorable for all the wrong reasons) - once again, it's a matter of personal taste - but Gentle Giant is not committed to their craft  because they never went past the 10 minute mark with their stuff?




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He looks at this world and wants it all... so he strikes, like Thunderball!


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:53
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

For me it's not so much about being a maverick or having your own set of tastes or opinions or anything like that. And on my side, it's not about my favorite album being gored (For clarification, it's not my favorite album). It's about understanding what the ratings mean.
There must have been countless debates on this.
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.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

You just don't understand that this is about other people and not just about you.
That's not necessarily what it means either.
Originally posted by axeman axeman wrote:

If you think that that many people wouldn't like it because you really, really don't, then I can only say that you're really, really not getting the concept.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of that. Some reviewers have this bad habit of using the general "you", which is just wrong.


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:57
So far ten PA users think Free hand is a one star album. I find that rather depressing.Disapprove

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Coldness doth get away with the badness. http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: LinusW
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 13:58
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.




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http://www.last.fm/user/LinusW88" rel="nofollow - Blargh


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date 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.


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: LinusW
Date 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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http://www.last.fm/user/LinusW88" rel="nofollow - Blargh


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date 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.


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: axeman
Date 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


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date 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.


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Bonnek
Date 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


Posted By: presdoug
Date 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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"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               


Posted By: LinusW
Date 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!



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http://www.last.fm/user/LinusW88" rel="nofollow - Blargh


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date 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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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: TGM: Orb
Date 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...


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 17:18
^ What's so wise about the quote?

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date 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?



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http://www.last.fm/user/TullDerGraff" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: axeman
Date 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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-John


Posted By: twosteves
Date 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.


Posted By: geneyesontle
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 19:38
No way. It's my second favorite GG album.

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Poseidon wants to Acquire the Taste of the Fragile Lamb
- Derek Adrian Gabriel Anderson, singer of the band Geneyesontle


Posted By: ProgMetaller2112
Date Posted: April 02 2013 at 19:43
I would say no but people are entitled to their opinions

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“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

"Ignorance and Prejudice and Fear walk Hand in Hand"- Neil Peart



Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date 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?


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Tom Ozric
Date 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..................??


Posted By: irrelevant
Date 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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http://superdensecrushloadfactor.bandcamp.com/" rel="nofollow - Superdensecrushloadfactor


Posted By: TGM: Orb
Date 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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