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

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1506 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cudar
5 stars

"Hail to Power and to Glory's way."

This is my very first music review. I've recently started purchasing my favorite prog albums, and this one was my first acquisition. I didn't choose randomly, because this is easily among my top 10 favorite prog albums of all time.

When I rate an album, I consider four major aspects. The first and most important aspect is coherence, general impression and atmosphere, since we are talking about a prog album. This doesn't mean that only a concept album can be outstanding from this point of view. The order of the songs, the length of them, the changes in mood and tempo are important here. The songs shouldn't be too similar, because many similar songs won't crate a coherent piece of art, that should be listened in whole, they are only tracks in a playlist. The second aspect is the individual quality of the songs. Sometimes a great song can make an album. Good songwriting is essential. Songs shouldn't only consist of different passages glued together, changing rapidly, even if progressive music always aspired to break the barriers of conventional songwriting. The third aspect is how many times do I want to re-listen the album. This is purely subjective, and hard to explain the differences. Sometimes I consider an album better than the other in terms of quality, but still listen to the other much more frequently. Maybe I can identify myself better with the one I listen the most. The fourth aspect is not the fourth because it's the least important, but because it has an impact on all previous three aspects, and I want to mention it separately. It's originality and uniqueness of the sound. Bands with a unique style have advantage here.

Now, after I explained my rating method, I can finally get to business. The Power And The Glory is my favorite album from Gentle Giant and it fully meets all my requirements. It is a concept album, based on the career of a politician, who supposedly wanted to use political power to do good, but when he got it, eventually started to abuse it, like all the other politicians he fought against. Politics isn't a frequent subject for prog rock, and Gentle Giant managed to fill this gap really well. The lyrics are very true, and sometimes make you smile with a bit of humor.

In terms of music, IMO this is the most complicated album by GG, the hardest to get into, not as if the others were easily accessible. Proclamation starts off the album well, not sparing the audience at all, with the dissonant vocals. So Sincere is the most weird song on the album, I really like the lyrics, and the way it's presented. Aspirations is one of my all time favorite songs, and even my friends, who don't like prog rock, like it. This giant is gentle, indeed. This song is calm and beautiful, the atmosphere matches the lyrics excellently, and I like to sing along, but unfortunately I have a terrible voice. The next four songs present the evolution of the character and the increasing dissatisfaction of the people. Valedictory closes the album. It is very similar to the first track, and this way emphasizes how the main character became the exact opposite of himself, the circle is closed, an other individual will replace him, who'll probably walk the same path. We also get a bonus track at the end, a song released as a single. Here the guys created a bit more conventional song. It kind of summarizes the concept.

At first I didn't really enjoy The Power And The Glory, but in time it grew on me. These kind of albums are one of the best, eventually. I give it 5 stars in each category.

Cudar | 5/5 |

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