2010 reissue review-When GG was given a "Free Hand" they pro
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gentle Giant got a one-two punch to the gut; the oldest of the Shulman brothers Phil left the band but the band carried on as a five piece and produced one of the finest albums they ever made "In a Glass House" only to find their record label wouldn't release it. With "Free Hand" they regrouped producing one of their most confident, melodic and complex albums. This remaster improves on the DRT remaster from five years ago and is only flawed by not having the bonus live track that release had.
As for the mastering engineer Fred Kervorkian did what's called "selective band compression". Yeah, there is selective band compression applied but the album sounds surprisingly good and isn't brickwalled More importantly, detail and clarity are an improvement over previous editon of the album. There is limiting applied as well as some denoising (at the request of the band) but it isn't as obtrusive as I thought it would be. The best comparison I can think of is that this shares a lot of assets and drawbacks as The Beatles remasters.
This edition does sound better than the DRT.
Why no bonus tracks? I suspect it has to do with the fact that the GG label Alucard will be releasing these reissues on vinyl later this year (2010) and that the band wanted the CDs to reflect the original albums and the forthcoming reissues. "Free Hand" along with "In a Glass House" and "Octopus" represents GG at their finest.
This reissue bests the DRT in terms of sound with much smoother e.q. choices. Recommended."