Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Peter Hammill - Fireships CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 145 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars Peter Hammill is a long-time favourite of mine, but his vast and many-sided solo discography is challenging to get to know thoroughly. Several of the 80's and 90's albums are partly familiar to me via PH compilations. Fireships and the next one, The Noise (1993) together demonstrate the dichotomic ways in Hammill's creativity. While the latter is noisy and rocking, Fireships concentrates on the softer side. Sadly Hammill's idea of "BeCalm" series of albums didn't materialize further. Of his collaborators only multi-talent co-producer David Lord and violinist Stuart Gordon appear on most tracks here. Two other Graaf mates, bassist Nic Potter and flautist/saxophonist David Jackson, have smaller contributions.

The opener 'I Will Find You' is one of the most unoriginal pop ballads Hammill has ever recorded. The freshness soon wears out as the banal love song just keeps on repeating the same. 'Curtains' is a deeply emotional slow-tempo song featuring piano and a string arrangement. 'His Best Girl' is another highlight, extremely delicate and moody song with interesting lyrics about a possessive relastionship. 'Oasis' has a Middle-Eastern flavour on soft percussion and soprano sax (slightly reminding me of Peter Gabriel's Passion soundtrack). Not quite as moving as the two songs before it, but still very good. 'Incomplete Surrender' continues on the slow and delicate route. A bit too extended at nearly seven minutes, and at this point the listener starts to feel sleepy.

The title track grows from the sonic sparseness la Out of Water (1990) to the edgier and more synthetic sound of Roaring Forties (1994). Even the use of drum machine is justified, to give some variety to the mellow album. 'Given Time' is a slow ballad in which the elegant electric guitar sounds are colouring the sparseness nicely. Also the final song 'Gaia' is in a very slow tempo, and the sonic delicacy builds up to cathartic passion. Cinematic, deeply emotional and perhaps a bit syrupy. All in all, Fireships is pretty well executed set of mellow and passionate songs. Those listeners wishing for more edginess may feel disappointed (and narcotic), but if you're fond of Peter Hammill at his calmest, this is definitely an album worth checking out.

Matti | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PETER HAMMILL review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.