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Acquiring the Taste

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iTunes Review

Gentle Giant's second album, Acquiring the Taste, is where they really start showing off their eclectic gifts; the band up their game several levels here. Most members of Gentle Giant already played a multitude of instruments, but there are even more additions to the arsenal this time around, from celeste, harpsichord, viola, and clarinet to a donkey's jawbone—the better to realize their expanded ambitions. The compositions are exponentially more intricate, the parts more challenging, and the eclecticism amped up to an equal degree. The art-song feel of "Edge of Twilight" gives way to a mini percussion concerto featuring tympani and xylophone. The blistering rock riffs of "The House, the Street, the Room" are interrupted by a sort of modernist fugue. The title track is a baroque synthesizer interlude leading to the heavy-rock sea chantey "The Wreck," which includes an acoustic Renaissance interlude.

Customer Reviews


A nearly impeccable second album by a spectacular ensemble. A finer product than their debut, this album could be my personal favorite. I highly recommend it especially for only $7!

Spacious and Atmospheric

On their sophmore effort Gentle Giant used the recording studio to its fullest potential. Acquiring the Taste is a much different sounding record than its predecessor, incorporating newly released analog synths, vibes, mandolins, tuned percussion, a violin through a wah wah pedal, and a plethora of guitar sounds. The band really explored the depths of their creativity using state-of-the-art techniques of the day like, panning, reverb, stacked vocals and instrumentation that gives the album a much more moody and fuller sound. The track "Edge of Twilight" really puts the listener in a nocturnal world of light and sound with images playing overhead. Still a six piece band at this point they took advantage of each band member's versatility especially in the vocal department. The albums opener "Pantagruel's Nativity" the band excelled at layering vocal harmonies and time/tempo changes that would become a part of their signature sound. The title track is an instrumental of synthesizers that has the counterpoint and subtleties of a beautifully written classical piece. "Wreck" and "Plain Truth" have a somewhat classic rock feel comparable to their contemporaries, yet devoid of cliché and pretension. "Black Cat" has a jazzy, quirky, vibe that's all its own that is b catchy and unassuming. Overall, this is an incredible album that sounds great in the headphones or earpods.


Formed: 1969

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed at the dawn of the progressive rock era in 1969, Gentle Giant seemed poised for a time in the mid-'70s to break out of its cult-band status, but somehow never made the jump. Somewhat closer in spirit to Yes and King Crimson than to Emerson, Lake & Palmer or the Nice, their unique sound melded hard rock and classical music, with an almost medieval approach to singing. Gentle Giant was born out of the ruins of Simon Dupree & the Big Sound, an R&B-based outfit led by brothers Derek, Ray, and...
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Acquiring the Taste, Gentle Giant
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