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Gentle Giant - In A Glass House CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.36 | 1515 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars While I gave Octopus a low rating, I definitely feel that In A Glass House is very much better. The feel of the music is darker on this album compared to the often too cheerful Octopus, which is apparent already by the look of the cover art. They also managed to produce lyrics that are worth taking seriously here for the first time in their career. In A Glass House is supposedly a concept album, but the concept is loose and invite you to think (instead of giggle, as was often the case on Octopus!) In A Glass House shows a more reflective, more mature Gentle Giant.

Compared to Octopus the tracks here are much longer (the title track is almost twice the length of the average track on Octopus) and allow more breaks and instrumental sections. The synthesisers sound as synthesisers should for the first time on a Gentle Giant album. Notice particularly the Moog breaks on Way Of Life.

The title track I think is a masterpiece and The Runaway is also quite excellent, even if I find the sound of breaking glass at the start annoying. I also don't like very much the repetition of short snippets of all the previous tracks at the very end of the album. But despite a couple of irritating moments, this album is really good overall.

While the music on Octopus often was extremely complex, I felt that it lacked real depth. The complexity was often of a na´ve and simple kind, if that makes any sense. It was a type of complexity that jumped right out at you, and not a type of complexity that it takes several listens to reveal. I don't get that feeling while listening to In A Glass House except maybe on The Inmates Lullaby, which is slightly silly. But can get away with it here, because it tackles a serious subject after all. This is certainly not easy music to get into. I did not like it straight away when I first heard this album, it took several listens before I started to really like it, which is sometimes a mark of a good Prog album.

In a way you could see In A Glass House as the result of Gentle Giant taking all the good aspects of all their previous albums and putting them into one, leaving out much of (but not all) the bad aspects.


SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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