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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1869 ratings

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5 stars The fourth album from Gentle Giant is another masterpiece album from the masters. Octopus has all the ingredients that make every Gentle Giant album so exceptional. Great intriguing melodies, polyrythmic structures, time signature and tempo changes and outstanding musicianship. And on top of that some of the best composed songs ever in prog rock. What makes Gentle Giant so great in my eyes is that they are their own. They make use of influences from several genres including hard rock, classical chamber music, mideavel music, avant garde and jazz. They mix them all and out comes the progressive wonderchild Gentle Giant.

The music has changed a bit since their previous album Three Friends. Their style is the same though itīs just minor changes that makes it exciting to listen to a new Gentle Giant album every time. You can feel that they have challenged themselves and that is exactly what I like to do myself with music.

The Advent of Panurge starts the album with a very powerful rythm, a bit funky really, itīs just such a great song.

My favorite is Raconteur Troubadour where the classical and mideavel sounds really emerge. It only last for 4 minutes but try and listen to how many different parts and moods that are in that song. Just amazing is what I say.

A Cry for Everyone is the only hard rocker on Octopus, but Derek Shulman really gets his rocks off here.

Knots is a pretty avant garde like song with another of Gentle Giantīs trademarks the multilayered polyrythmic vocal harmonies.

The Boys in the Band is a jazz/ rock instrumental. Very powerful.

Dogīs Life is a great intricate mellow song, with some twist that makes this a very progressive song.

The most commercial song on Octopus is definitely Think of Me with Kindness as it is kind of a ballad. Donīt worry though it is very beautiful and not pop at all.

River is the last song here and it starts with Ray Shulmanīs folky violin playing and becomes pretty psychadelic in the mid section. This is a very progressive song and it takes a couple of listens before it reveals itīs beauties. Just like a fine wine. A clear favorite of mine. The song also spouts a bluesy Gary Green guitar solo.

The sound quality is very good. Clearly the best production Gentle Giant had up til then.

The musicianship is outstanding as I mentioned. The Shulman brothers and Kerry Minnear are some of the best musicians I have ever encountered. Gary Green and John Weathers are absolutely fantastic too. There are no weak links in this band. Iīm alway speechless when I have to explain how fantastic Gentle Giant are as musicians, youīll have to listen for yourself. Their compositional skills are beyond my comprehension too, how did they make this music ?

This is another prog rock classic from maybe the best band in the genre and it will be my fourth consecutive 5 star rating of a Gentle Giant album. This is beyond highly recommendable, this is a must if your into progressive rock.

UMUR | 5/5 |


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