Sunday Night Journal — September 24, 2006
Sunday Night Journal — October 1, 2006

Music of the Week — September 24, 2006

Gentle Giant: In a Glass House

More ‘70s progressive rock. I remember hearing this group’s name back then, but not their music. I doubt I would ever have listened to them but for the respected poster on the eMusic message board who goes by the handle of Music Lover and who calmly and persistently insisted that Gentle Giant was the best prog group ever. Well, he’s got a point, although I’m not ready to agree with him that they were the best.

The music on this album is on at least as high a technical level as that of any other candidates for the prog-rock crown. Yet I can see why they never really caught on commercially. There’s no one element that grabs your attention—no particular charismatic singer or instrumentalist, no radio-friendly songs. You have to give them a little time and attention—I’ve listened to this album three times and don’t feel like I’ve really gotten it yet.

In their basic sound they resemble Yes more than any other famous prog group, and occasionally they make me think of Jethro Tull, especially in some of the folky interludes. I’d have to say at this point that I admire it more than I like it—it hasn’t really touched me emotionally. But I admire it a lot. There’s not a dull moment in its ever-shifting thirty-eight minutes. I think it’s safe to say that anyone who likes Yes and other technically sophisticated rock groups will like In a Glass House. I plan to check out some of their other work.

Here’s the eMusic link. And a Pretty Much Everything You Might Ever Want To Know About Gentle Giant site which is obviously a labor of love.

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