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Van Der Graaf Generator - World Record CD (album) cover

WORLD RECORD

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

3.80 | 494 ratings

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russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The most uneven of VDGG's albums, 'World Record' is an uneasy amalgam of three strong songs and two poor efforts. The sheer surprise of HAMMILL and company being responsible for any composition of such low quality makes this album a difficult listen.

The first three songs, however, continue their strong tradition of songwriting. While not quite up with their brave experiments of the early 1970s, 'When She Comes', 'A Place To Survive' and 'Masks' are excellent compositions, played with finesse and passion. In particular the first and third of these tracks are stellar additions to the VDGG canon.

However, the monstrously overlong 'Meurglys III' is a jumbled mess, spare parts soldered together with seemingly no regard for the shape of the song. Chief among the offending parts is the seven minute reggae jam that concludes the song. It is not foreshadowed in the previous thirteen minutes, and sits on the song like a gerbil grafted to a dog's back. Playful, perhaps? It just seems so inappropriate. These musicians make a passable stab at the reggae sound, but it's borderline cultural appropriation for no visible reason makes me cringe. One should not be forced to press the 'skip' button on a VDGG CD. But I skip the entire song, as even the first thirteen minutes are the sort of foolishness I thought VDGG to be above indulging in. Who needs an ill-conceived song named after one of HAMMILL's guitars? No wonder there was tension in the band, leading to their breakup immediately after this album.

Perhaps 'Wondering' suffers because of its proximity to the awful 'Meurglys', or it might be the oddly ineffective ending. Both, probably. It's perfectly acceptable, but doesn't make side 2 of this record worth playing.

Certainly not essential, this album is barely of interest to anyone but a VDGG fan, and that only for the first three tracks.

russellk | 3/5 |

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