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Peter Hammill - Thin Air CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.31 | 94 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I picked up this album because I found it cheap on ebay. It is my starting point to Peter Hammill's solo career, and I wouldn't have started here if not for the aforementioned reason. When it arrived, I looked at it with wary eyes. On the one hand, this is Peter Hammill, one of the key forces behind Van Der Graaf Generator, a band that (despite the fact I've just started exploring their career) I hugely enjoy. On the other hand, this is 30 years after the latest VDGG record I have heard, and the album art made me think of the kind of music you're likely to find in a gift shop at a tourist trap.

"The Mercy" had me changing my mind, as it was a nice track that developed interestingly, and "Your Face on the Street" was really interesting lyrically (if somewhat less so musically), so the lack of interest I was able to develop in the rest of the music was pretty disappointing.

This album reminds me of the Singer-Songwriter solo albums that I listened to a lot before I got into prog rock. The song structures on this album consist mostly of Peter singing over acoustic guitar or piano/keyboards. This is not entirely true, as there are some weirder sounds moving around underneath the main level of guitar and keyboards, but they don't quite move the music so much as give it texture. This extra texture makes the music a bit deeper than your typical Singer-Songwriter, yet somehow I just can't feel that this album is really doing anything amazing.

It does end on The Top of the World Club, which does have some really nice moments and recaps a theme from a previous track (The Ghost of Planes) in an interesting way, which gives the album a sense of cohesiveness. But as much as I would love to say that this helped redeem the album, I can't.

For a man who has released over 30 solo albums, I am sure that there must be something better in Peter's discography. For sure, the classic '70s albums (which I have not yet heard) are probably a much better place to start dipping your feet in his discography. I can't imagine that there is much in this album for people to enjoy unless they are already a fan of Peter's music, or really enjoy this type of music.

2 stars for now.

TheGazzardian | 2/5 |


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