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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 1462 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This is actually more of a 3.5 affair, but it features a common GG scenario: while the album has it's fair share of outstanding moments, it's weighed down by considerably weaker material; add to this the fact the album is relatively short, and you end up with a rather limited amount of quality music - although it's certainly there.

The strong part of the album consists of "Prologue", "Schooldays" , "Peel the Paint", and the title track. "Prologue", the largely instrumental opener, is one of GG's catchiest and more accessible tracks, at the same time demonstrating their intricate compositional tendencies to excellent effect. Following it is "Schooldays", which displays the group's more experimental side; actually, it doesn't really rank among GG's all-time best, but it contributes a lot to the album, remaining a worthwhile listen (especially when that ominous piano comes in). "Peel the Paint" begins with a soft section featuring sweet violin, then turns into a slow, burning riff-rocker (not unlike "The House, the Street, the Room" from "Acquiring the Taste", due to the main riff's somewhat sinister nature). However, it may be the title track that steals the show on "Three Friends", as the Schulman brothers' choral arrangements join forces with Kerry Minear's organ and the rest of the band for 3 minutes of exquisitely beautiful music; one of the amazing things about this composition is how fresh it sounds, which is remarkable considering that it relies on pretty conventional harmonic moves.

The two remaining tracks constitute the weaker part of the album. "Working All Day" is a lame hard rock song with no hint of a hook, let alone creativity; while it was something of tradition for Gentle Giant to include at least one simple rock number on every album, this track defines the word "filler" better than any of them. "Mister Class and Quality" is considerably stronger , quite good in fact due to it's catchier, more upbeat nature and some signature GG moments; however, it still detracts more from the overall result than it contributes.

Considering the rather significant amount of weaker material and the fact that the standout tracks aren't all perfect, this isn't a particularly brilliant album, especially when compared to "Acquiring the Taste". Nevertheless, it's "shining moments" make it a worthy addition to GG's impressive discography, as well as to your own collection.


Pafnutij | 3/5 |


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