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Peter Hammill - Out Of Water CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.33 | 114 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars More droning from Hammill's spotty, frustrating post-'70s work. A thin, plastic sound to all the instruments is the weakest element, an apparent hangover from the digital-age production ethic that was favored by many '70s prog artists who continued into the '80s. But what about the songs? There aren't many that one could call classic Hammill. Many come off as a kind of meeting point between New Age and Contemporary Adult Pop. Not good. Credit where it's due, Hammill sounds as pained and passionate as ever, but the material isn't that memorable. Not even familiar Hammill cohorts David Jackson and Stuart Gordon can save the lackluster songs. (And I wonder, is credited bassist Nic Mozart actually occasional Van Der Graaf Generator bassist Nic Potter?)

After wading through the first 6 songs, which are trying, dreary kinds of things, Hammill busts out two excellent pieces to end on a high note. "On The Surface" is stark and doesn't succumb to as many production flaws as the more dense material before it. He rides out his vocal choices, melodies hanging loosely in the air, an excellent showcase of his still powerful delivery. It's got the highly-emotional conviction that marks some of his most moving performances, and this quality is given an even brighter spotlight on album- ender "A Way Out". Helped by excellent lyrics, "A Way Out" is simply wonderful--a tragic and fragile piece. Hammill pulls difficult moods out of the listener with the ease of a professional therapist. It could almost be too depressing to handle if you listen with the wrong mindset. At other times, it's beautiful enough to draw tears. It's just too bad you have to wait so long to get to the good stuff on this mostly unremarkable album.

slipperman | 2/5 |


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