Gentle Giant: Free Hand
This could be Gentle Giant at their most accessible, while holding on to the traits that make them so unique. It is a fun, and (of course) quirky album. This may not be the band at their most dramatic, but it is ultimately enjoyable.
“Just the Same” is strong, bouncy, and has that odd timing that GG fans have come to love. There are also some wonderfully silly keyboard sounds. So come on, and snap along (if you can).
“On Reflection” starts out with a trademark vocal round, and is joined by a few percussive instruments. It then goes into a folk section. Towards the end more is added, and we are treated to various sounds “all around, all around, all around.”
“Free Hand” starts with a quickly played piano and guitar duet, backed with some subtle bass. It soon turns into a rocker, GG style.
“Time to Kill” is a jazzy groove. If you listen closely, there are some tasty progressions here.
“His Last Voyage” is delicately haunting, but has a little ‘cut this thing loose’ section.
“Talybont” is a medieval dance. If it weren’t for the electronics, this could have been recorded in a castle of old. Ah, fetch me an oversized turkey drumstick.
“Mobile” is the only thing keeping this from being an essential. It’s a good tune, but not the best choice to close the album.
Once again, this is a fun album. It is also a great place to enter into the land of the Giant. I highly recommend it.