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Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 1962 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Van Der Graaf Generator's Pawn Hearts must be one of the very best albums ever made. It shows a band at the peak of their innovative and experimental approach to music. Pawn Hearts features three epic tracks, of which all are astounding pieces of music. The album is definitely not easy listening, but for those who don't mind music as radical as this album its inner beauty will be easily revealed.

The album opens with the aggresive and ominous "Lemmings (Including COG)". A very dominant thing in the song is the fierce sax playing by David Jackson, which is absolutely wonderful. Peter Hammill's vocals are just as expressive as usual, being laden with anger and despair. The second song on the album is another stunning piece. "Man-Erg" is based on the theme of identity. The piece starts, unlike the previous track, like a kind of relieving ballad. A sudden shriek of the saxophone and this all changes into what is probably the most menacing part of the album. This middle section features the band at its most dissonant and frightening and could perhaps sound a bit too radical to some ears. I think it's excellent though, and so is the entire piece.

The third and final track of the album is the epic suite "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers". Not only do I think this is the best piece on the album, I also tend to think of it as my favorite piece of music ever made. Peter Hammill's brilliant lyrics in this piece discuss a theme that often recurs in his lyrics, which is solitude. The suite takes us through various moods like sadness, relief and anger and never fails to stay interesting and touching.

From beginning to end this album is stunning. For that reason I give it 5 stars without the slightest doubt and consider it one of the very best albums ever made. I would recommend this to anyone who isn't afraid of some dissonance and very expressive vocals.

The Sleepwalker | 5/5 |


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