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VdG Generations  Record Review Reprint

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Peter Hammill
And Close As This

Phil Kime:

A true gem in the middle of his transition from the K group period to his later solo work. This album contains, for me, some of the most dangerously emotional and powerful music Hammill has ever written. I listen to it rarely as one eats rich food only ocassionally. Extremely simple keyboard settings passed through a Macintosh computer for processing. Simple, direct and intense vocals from beginning to end. Allow me to mention the highlights. Too Many of My Yesterdays, the first track, is an impassioned song with concentrated beauty. One might well remark about the rough vocal style but that would completely missing the point. Empire of Delight is a dreamy ballad where Hammill's enigmatic touch is as apparent as anywhere in his entire output. Silver is sublime. Delivery is terrifying, melody is unearthly. A wonderful lyric setting is Other Old Clichés, the phonetic concision of the collection of platitudes is beautifully contrasted with a sucession of spilling vocals. Sleep Now is genuinly touching for musical reasons, disregarding the lyrics. One of Hammills finest but hardly representative of his work.

© 1996 Phil Kime


Option, O2-1987, page 92:

This is truly a solo record, as every part is played by Hammill. By sequencing various computer and synthesizer bits, he was able to do all the performances live (on two tracks) by playing piano, and sequencing the pre-recorded bits in one take on the rest. Above that, it's a fairly interesting record that succeeds in everything it tries to be: quiet, meditative, and elusive. A passing resemblance to Hammill's former band, Van der Graaf Generator, will probably be a convenient selling point for some. Best tracks are Silver and (especially) Sleep Now, a lullaby for his son.

© 1987 Dave Beltane - Option

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