Free Hand review from Keyboard Magazine
From Contemporary Keyboard, September/October 1975
With its new release, Gentle Giant displays a maturity that few groups can boast. Keyboardist/composer Kerry Minnear, whose fame has been long in coming, is on the road to establishing himself as one of rock's most interesting keyboardists. Playing everything from harpsichord to phase-shifted Mellotron, Minnear's lines weave in and out of maze-like rhythmic structures with a grace that reflects the touch of a master architect.
The album itself reveals a conscious effort to move away from the Webern/rock of their previous album, "The Power and the Glory," into a fluid melodic style that is reminiscent of Elizabethan England. One cut in particular illustrates this move, "On Reflection." Within this piece, Minnear's orchestration between harpsichord, synthesizer, Mellotron, etc. serves as a firm stylistic base upon which the group's complex polyphonic vocal style rides.
Minnear's solos, which are rare, seem more like integral parts of an overall group timbre, focusing sound in such a manner as to display the technical mastery of the entire group rather than just one instrumentalist. The first piece of the album, "Just the Same," reveals Minnear's ability to blend into the arrangements, unifying an intense rhythmic structure with his piano, and later threading an exuberantly voiced synthesizer solo throughout the meshing timbres.
This LP is definitely one of the group's finest efforts, as well as one of the finer rock albums to be released this year.
(Submitted by Steve Lottich)