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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1880 ratings

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Pafnutij
3 stars I consider "Octopus" to be GG's most adventurous and varied album, albeit not their best. While there is plenty of experimentation going on, this diminishes the quality of the compositions somewhat , although overall, it remains a solid album. The experiments begin with the very first track, "The Advent of Panurge", which hardly ever relies on traditional rock arrangements, even if we are talking about progressive rock; neither does the "Raconteur Troubadour", which features prominent use of stringed instruments - both of these compositions are interesting, but not outstanding. Things get more straightforward with "A Cry for Everyone", a pretty simplistic rocker, but the band quickly dives back into unexplored territory with "Knots", the most unusual track on the album, "Knots", which focuses mainly on the Schulman brothers' vocal arrangements. Once again, the number is worthwhile, but not particularly remarkable. The main theme in "The Boys in the Band" is also quite strong and interesting , but is unfortunately repeated too many times, thus loosing it's effect quickly; nevertheless, taking into account that the rest of the track features some great moments too, this instrumental is the best on the album. "Dog's Life" relies primarily on an acoustic guitar figure, with some violin thrown in along with weird noises, making for a likeable if unremarkable track. "Think Of Me With Kindness " is a light piano ballad with peaceful vocals and an overall pleasant atmosphere. Finally, in "River", the band returns to their experimental tendencies, with strange harmonies and more electronic weirdness popping up throughout the track; it's mostly a likeable colser.

Overall, this is an interesting and innovative prog rock album, especially as it came out back in 1972, and quite a good one too. There are no brilliant compositions like "Alucard" or "Pantagruel's Nativity" ("The Boys..." comes closest), but as a whole, it's an enjoyable record.

3.5

Pafnutij | 3/5 |

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