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Peter Hammill - Roaring Forties CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 108 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I have not been impressed with Peter's output from the nineties so far (except maybe the first one ("Out Of Water"). This has caused me some e-mails, and it's funny enough to see that some persons believe I'm too harsh with him, while another one (my dear friend Febus) believes that I'm globally too generous with my ratings for Peter's work in general.

I was enthusiast to listen to this album because the length of the songs makes it possible to develop an idea sufficiently. Provided of course that the idea is good.

And even if this album starts on the rocking side, I must say that both "Sharply Unclear" as well as "The Gift Of Fire" are truly pleasant. Peter seems to be more in peace with himself now. Jackson's input in the latter song is evident even if it is definitely a Hammill song and not a VDGG one (do you follow me?).

The reverse "You Can't Want What You Always Get" (sounds as a "Stones" title, right?), is again on the rocking side, but more chaotic and noisy. The frenetic violin play, the heavy sax, the dark mood is a somewhat oppressive and lacks in harmony to be really catchy. The second part is just on par. This is the weakest song of the whole here.

The contrast is total with the first movement of the epic "A Headlong Stretch". Tranquil and acoustic guitar, subtle and charming vocal part. Almost too sweet.I'm not too sure we can talk about epic here. The seven sections are quite different from one another, and the transitions are rather abrupt.

You can notice this as soon as "Continental Drift" starts. At the opposite of the smoothness of the "Up Ahead". The whole sounding somewhat chaotic and the VDGG feeling can prevail here, although this song falls short of the main reference from the band (in terms of epic). I mean "Plague." of course.

One is fully brought in the Graaf's world during "Long Light" (for three minutes). But even if it's short, it is always a good feeling of course. Now, the most emotional part. "Backwards Man". Peter's vocals are bloody good here. Nervous, tortured as they can be: just a pity that the backing band is not that great. The closing "or So I Said" is also full of emotion.

But my fave from these roaring forties is the quiet and beautiful "Your Tall Ship". A delicate and melodic ballad like the man can produce. He is so lively in his vocals, so passionate, so vibrant, so. Hammill. A great closing track.

Even if this album is not the best one from this great man, it flows nicely and I very much welcome this. A good album in my opinion. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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