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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 1254 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SaltyJon
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This debut album from Gentle Giant, while not an absolute masterpiece, is still a very worthwhile addition to any prog-listener's collection. As the band's biography (as well as several of the other reviews) say, Gentle Giant's music is a melting pot of styles and themes. This album is a bit less varied than some of their later efforts, feeling closer to conventional rock, except for a few songs.

The album starts off with a fairly good piece, in my opinion, Giant. The song starts off simply with some quiet organ, then builds up to the full band putting in their efforts. It incorporates horns and some unusual song structuring, giving the listener a fairly tame idea of things to come, though better examples can be found later on the album. 4/5

Next on the bill is Funny Ways. This song starts off with acoustic guitar and a string section, a nice, soft bit after the high-energy opener. The vocals on this song are very nice, the harmonies once again hinting at future works with vocal experimentation. The song then goes into a fun, upbeat section, and ends again in the softer style. A very excellent track from the band. Live performances of it really shine. 5/5.

Alucard comes next. This song is another of the strongest tracks on the album. It has a darker sound to it, with some eerie harmonization on the vocals and saxophone/distorted organs. 4.5/5

Up next is one of the most fun songs on the album, Isn't It Quiet And Cold? The song seems to accurately represent a lonely walk through the streets of a city, with a bit of a bouncing beat and some good string section playing. Some of the backing vocals bring the Beatles to mind, but beyond that this band is a completely different animal. We're treated to a xylophone solo part way through the song as well. Another excellent track, and one of my personal favorites from the album. 5/5.

Then comes one of the most hard-rocking songs on here, Nothing at All. The acoustic beginning brings to mind some of Boston's softer pieces, and as it builds it sounds more like what Black Sabbath could have done at the time. The drum solo near the halfway mark is an interesting way to break the song up a bit, and the sort of spaced out piano fits in well. The piece ends up on a softer note again, and leads into the next. Once again, very good song. 4.5/5

Why Not? seems to be a sort of continuation to the previous song. It continues on in the hard rocking style, with some excellent guitar and strong drums. The guitar solo is great, and shows off Gary Green's bluesy abilities. 4.5/5 again.

The last track on the album is the only one which I think is lower quality than the otherwise consistently great album. It's the group's hard rocking rendition of their national anthem, titled The Queen. While it's not a bad song really, it doesn't seem as if it's coming from the right band. 3.5/5.

(4+5+4.5+5+4.5+4.5+3.5)/7 = 4.43/5

SaltyJon | 4/5 |

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