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Gentle Giant - In A Glass House CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.35 | 1666 ratings

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4 stars This album marks the most dramatic transition point in Gentle Giant's career. Elder brother Phil Shulman splits from the fold, taking his voice and saxophone with him, and from this point on the band's sound is remarkably different from that of all their previous releases. What is this difference? Well, for one thing, you'll hardly hear any more sax-driven numbers, and also gone is the playful, kitchen-sink attitude we hear on an album like "Octopus". Instead we find an extremely serious and ambitious group of musicians seemingly bent on pushing their music's complexity and intensity to its absolute limits, and as the first release in this new mode of operation, In A Glass House is often regarded as the band's ultimate masterpiece, their crowning achievement -- and one of the all-time greatest prog-rock records ever conceived. Without a doubt, this is Gentle Giant's most consistently intense (and "serious") album -- I remember being almost creeped out by it the first time I heard it, and a little unsure of what had just happened to me. With repeated listens, however, their genius begins to reveal itself; and soon I found myself revelling in every twist and turn, awestruck by their peerless intelligence and imagination, wishing they had recorded hundreds of albums. Within are most of the band's longest running tracks (around the 8 minute mark) with "Experience" being a particular favorite of mine, featuring subliminal keyboard work and haunting vocals throughout as well as a mind-bending instrumental pileup at the end that I could go on listening to forever. While it's nearly impossible to say which Gentle Giant album is the definitive best (too many flawless albums), this one will always get primary consideration.
corbet | 4/5 |


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