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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1869 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The beefiest set of eclecticism you can get, and it flows beautifully. OCTOPUS is one of those premiere prog rock albums that can take some time to grow warm towards. No doubt looking at the barrage of instruments played that you're going to go for one hell of a thrill ride, but the way the tracks flow together really arouses a euphoria that I cannot explain.

Gentle Giant earn my respect as one of the few artists that can cover a vast assortment of musical genres without getting on my nerves. I feel that the group has a natural sense of flow to make up for the genre jumping, kind of like Queen on their big NIGHT AT THE OPERA thing. To cover just the first side, we go from jazz-rock storytelling to Renaissance fair fanfare to proto- metal to intricate-vocal-intertwining-crazy-xylophone-thingys-random-riff-epic-avant-loss of sanity music. And I think it works.

The instrumental ''The Boys in the Band'' is where the group really hits their stride. It's a phantasmagoria of interlocking themes that just mesh so well until the band locks in on a groove at the midpoint. Ironically as a progster, ''River'' is the weakest of the tracks here as the main theme sounds a bit sedated and it suffers from slight length issues. ''Dog's Life'' and ''Think of Me With Kindness'' are typically candidates for weak tracks, but Gentle Giant finds ways to make simple folk tunes and ballads sound slightly off. It's as if Gentle Giant is a bloodsucking parasite that morphs simple music styles into something enjoyable whenever GG takes a bite out of them.

Those who understand Gentle Giant understand this album as the experimental nature, complexity and flow are in peak form here. It can slightly turn off newcomers, but sometimes masterpiece albums are ones where patience and repeated tries (or band fandom) are necessary for understanding.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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