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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 1175 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars One thing a person must learn is when to stop, until a couple of weeks I hated GENTLE GIANT, despite the fact I tried for decades, there was nothing I could rescue from this band, but the miracle happened, when I listened "Three Friends" and "Acquiring, the Taste", liked both albums and even reviewed them with high ratings....I should had stopped there, being that I was already familiar with the rest of their discography.

But then I believed it was the moment to listen again their 1970 debut, all the problems that made me dislike the band previous to the last two releases I reviewed returned, I can't find head or feet in almost any track, some ate boring and tedious, others are faster but with no coherence, seems that GENTLE GIANT forgot the meaning of melody when releasing most of this album.

Maybe this guys wanted to revolution the music and made an extremely complex album, but they also required a quota of sense and feeling, the album is cold, lack of expressiveness and boring from start to end.

"Giant" opens the album with energy, but I believe they didn't knew what they wanted to do, every section is contradictory with the previous, the vocals are so extremely dissonant that seem created for another song, but what is worst, they go nowhere, when I believe they are playing a Hard Rock, they loose the path and play some sort of Jazz hybrid, simply can't stand the track.

If the previous track lost me after a couple minutes, I lost the interest for "Funny Ways" after a few seconds. in very few opportunities I heard a less melodic violin and such a boring singing, when Derek seems to be getting somewhere, he starts to wander around the universe except where he should be, not even when a good piano is added they succeed, because the rest of the instruments are playing something that seems to be another song.

"Alucard" has an interesting start, a contrapuntist duel between keyboards and winds is worth to listen, but when the choirs enter, any good start is forgotten, this is complexity for no reason, I can't find any rational structure or idea, by this point I want to put the CD in the box and sell it, something very hard in my country where few people know or care about GENTLE GIANT...The psyche Hammond performance is magnificent, but not even penicillin can save this song.

"Isn't it Quiet and Cold?"....No, I believe it's silly, monotonous and boring, I wonder why everybody criticise songs as "The Sheriff" or "Harold the Barrel", but are afraid to say anything about this anodyne attempt of being versatile....QUEEN played similar songs years later, but with class, intelligence and taste.

"Nothing at All" has a beautiful melody, not even the vocals ruin it, but the problem is that we're talking about GENTLE GIANT, an icon of Progressive Rock and you should always expect something innovation, in this track the band goes to the opposite side of the musical spectrum, if the previous songs are too weird and complex, this one is nothing special....Hey there's a drum solo....But as the name says "Nothing at All", at least nothing special, but in their defence, can be listened.

The album is closed with "Why Not?, some sort of Bluesy Hard Rock that morphs into a Medieval Folk song, but again they get lost in their own contradictions and unnecessary complexity, despite this, "Why Not?" is the best track in the album for me.

After this experience I decided to stay with the second and third GENTLE GIANT albums which I enjoy a lot and forget the rest of their discography...I was tempted to give 1 lonely star to the album, but being that the two final songs are pretty decent, I believe that 2 stars is the perfect rating......For me of course.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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