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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1642 ratings

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5 stars When I was about to wake up this morning, I don't know why I got something clear in my mind, i.e. to spin Gentle Giant's "The Power and the Glory" album after having been such a long time I never touch this album (I think partly due to abundant new prog albums are flooding all around me recently. Well, I'm now actually in the middle of enjoying The Flower King's "Adam and Eve" album loaned from my friend, Rizal, who just bought it in Hong Kong.).

What a coincidence that the first track of this album is "Proclamation" while my country is today celebrating our 59th independence day. Purely coincidence! This track is really fantastic - it has a great melody and relatively complex composition. Opened with a unique organ sound in a discrete mode, followed by single voice of Derek SHULMAN and tight bass line by Ray SHULMAN make this opening set the overall tone of the track perfectly. I like the way Derek sings her - it has a great mixture of high and low .."You may not have all you want or you need .". What a great singing!! The music flows nicely with keyboards and bass dominate the background music. This is the kind music that can lift up your emotion and energy.

The second track is almost totally a discrete music with significant influence of avant- garde music. This time, violin and cello are dominating the music with some guitar fills and piano. When the voice sings "SO SIN-CERE" I can notice that all instruments are played in multi directions but they still can maintain the overall harmony. What a brilliant composition! It's contemporary, I would say. The only thing continuous in this track is when lead guitar fills the interlude. But again, the music is back to discrete style. You may hardly like this track. But I enjoy it very much!

The third track "Aspirations" is probably the most poppy track of this album. It has a ballad style but constructed in the vein of prog. It's so nice track, relatively mellow with keyboard sound as tagline - good singing style. It's an encouraging track, lyric-wise. Look at this: "As the dust settles, see our dreams, all coming true .." what a positive message the band tried to convey!

"Playing the Game" is really prog to the corner! It has all elements that typical prog music has always had: dynamic, relatively complex, and shifting tempos. Again, it's opened by a strange keyboard sound and dazzling bass line. Whenever I listened to this track I always observe how dynamic bass guitar is played throughout the whole segments of this track. It has a relatively upbeat tempo with some nice breaks for example on the part where the voice sings a monologue "My thoughts never spoken only the visions .." And so on. Then the music is back to the original tagline melody and composition.

The 5th track "Cogs in Cogs" is another excellent track with an uplifting intro, all instruments are played simultaneously and followed by unique singing style of SHULMAN "Empty promise broken the path has not been paved anyway .." As other tracks, this track has a variety of tempo.

"No God's Man" is a mellow track in the vein of "Aspirations" but it is more complex. Great keyboards and clavinet solo, lead guitar. "The Face" is an uplifting track with great harmony of violin, cello and guitar fills. "Valedictory" is a straight prog rock heavily influenced by hard rock music, opened with a solo drum and guitar. The music then flows nicely when the vocal line is added. This time the voice is performed in a high tone. Great voice, Mr. Shulman!!! My CD has a bonus track "The Power and The Glory" - a short track with great melody and composition. The only lacking is the production quality is not as the rest of original album track.

To conclude, this album has a very strong composition, tight structural integrity (hmmm .. .such an academic statement hah?) in every track as well as between tracks in the album. Each track is well positioned in its order to ensure maximum enjoyment for its listeners. Even the bonus track is brilliantly located to conclude the album, as an "encore", I would say. Musicianship - no question about it as each individual member contributes their talent skillfully. Production quality is excellent (even though it was 1974, 30 years ago mannn!!! I even have a habit of playing this cd LOUD especially when I play Proclamation, Playing The Game and Valedictory.). It all sum up to FIVE STAR rating of this album, and I am not too na´ve about it (it's been 30 years all around us). - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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