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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1955 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
5 stars The 2nd album from GENTLE GIANT in 1972 turned out to be one of their most popular and possibly the one that is the heaviest and just like the ink-shooting self-propelling intelligent mollusk that the album is named after, it too has the ability to suck you in with its eight tentacles except instead of the fleshy tender variety we get the sonic equivalents that cast their length and reel you into their universe to give you a musical performance that will most likely leave you hungry for more.

The eight tracks on this masterpiece are varied and even more complex in their composition and approach than anything they had tackled before and the gateway to their run of brilliant albums to follow. Malcolm Moore who had signed up for drum duties only recently on the previous album is already out of the band and replaced by John Weathers who not only aces the drumming parts but also fits in perfectly with the eclectic crew of multi-instrumentalists by contributing cymbal, bongo and xylophone duties as well. A newly integrated sound that adds new layers of tasty tension to the sound.

Every song on here is perfect and instantly sucks you in with a catchy hook and then throws curve ball after curve ball incorporating more polymeters, vocal counterpoints and mixing of classical and modern sounds. Beginning with "The Advent Of Panurge" we get a strange new sound in the musical world that wraps your soul with their sucker cups and only releasing after the very last nanosecond of "Rivers" is complete. The result is an accessibility that you can relate to instantly and a complexity that keeps this music fascinating on repeated listens.

The madrigal "Knots" is one of the most varied vocal weavings I have ever heard which sets itself apart from everything else GG (or anyone else for that matter) has done and is lyrically inspired by the works of the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Lang. It is brilliant how it plays with other instrumental parts and maintains a catchiness despite being alienating at the same time.

In this dog's life the boys in the band deliver a river of raconteuring troubadours that make me think of kindness for this band that is the best of the best but ultimately they were too far ahead of their time for the masses to relate to this type of eclectic stew and suffered from lack of financial stability but to their credit they continued their adventurous journey into the world of the GENTLE GIANT where bold experimentation married with sensual soul stirring songwriting consistently delivered satisfying sonic ecstasy of the highest degree suggesting that there is a God and at this moment in time that deity delivered this gift of "Octo Opus." I just hope they maintained the rights to their songs as this music will surely become more popular as time goes on.

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |


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