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Giraffe – The Power Of Suggestion [1987]

cover_48452217102008Country USA          Style Progressive Rock/AOR

Rating 80/100

Band Members
Kevin Gilbert – Vocals,keyboards,bass, uitars, Stan Cotey – Guitars,keyboards, Michael Abowd – Keyboards, Chris Beveridge – Bass, J. Scott Smith – Drums

01. Overture, 02. The Last Thing On Your Mind, 03. In Every Line, 04. This Warm Night, 05. Image Maker, 06. Because of You, 07. Everything You Are, 08. New Patriots, 09. Can’t Make This Love Go Away, 10. The World Just Gets Smaller, 11. Power Reprise, 12. Because of You, 13. Finale

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Profile This album is a bit of a “Songs of Innocence” (Blake), for Kevin Gilbert, when weighed against his recent solo album “Thud” (his “Songs of Experience,” if you like). As he was seventeen during much of the work on this first Giraffe album, and given the time it was released, it’s an interesting and worthwhile effort. The style is very much European sounding dance pop, with some progressive rock elements creeping in amongst the conventional structures, but only a little. Really it’s a Gilbert solo album, in that he played all the instruments as well as singing (“The View From Here” which followed has Giraffe expanding into more of a band).

The vocals here are good, but with less of the sardonic expression characteristic of Gilbert’s later work. The lyrics are better than average for this style and he proves his potential already both as a singer/songwriter and as a musician. What’s most interesting is the inclusion of vocal phrases, picked up from various sources, in a way that, for me, anticipates some of the later work of Porcupine Tree (both are probably influenced by Pink Floyd): a cute example is the closing one, taken from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “we are the music-makers and we are the dreamers of dreams…” Mostly though, these quotes tie into the loose theme of suggestion, with many sounding like they are from self-improvement tapes.

The drum machines get a bit relentless in places and the music is sometimes a bit underworked and simplistic (more guitars and less keyboards might have broadened the sound) but, as a whole, it works and does include some fine songs. An indication of greater things to come.


Ian Thomas

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