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


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 1962 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars This is the most well-recognized Van Der Graaf Generator recording but does that automatically mean that it's their best release?

It took me a lot of time to truly appreciate this album and I had to go through quite a few revisits over the course of the last 8 years for it to grow on me. My biggest problem has always been related to A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers suite and my feelings toward it literally went from unbearable blabber, at first, to eventually recognizing certain patterns and appreciating the piece as a whole. It wasn't I until I heard almost all of the band's back catalog that I truly began to understand and appreciate it's status among the fans. Still to this day I can't rank the suite among my top 10 favorite Van Der Graaf Generator compositions, but it wouldn't surprise me if it would reach that position in a few more years!

Lemmings was a complete polar opposite of A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers for it started off as my favorite composition but then I sort of grew tired of it over the course of these few years. The composition and its structure has very little new to offer once you've heard it at least 10 times. Let's move swiftly on to something really spectacular instead!

For me, Man-Erg actually managed to surpass the two other compositions since it was easy to enjoy the soft intro and outro sections the first time I heard them and the crazy jam section hit the right spot after a few more spins. Ultimately it offered a steady linear curve in growth of appreciation in relation to the play count. Hope that the last part made sense!

Let me conclude by establishing that Pawn Hearts is not an easy work to approach for beginners and I would rather recommend the albums before and after it as a proper introductions to the Van Der Graaf Generator sound. Still this record features a mature band on the top of their game and it's probably their most daring album to date so it should not be overlooked by fans of challenging and ambitious music!

***** star songs: Man-Erg (10:20)

**** star songs: Lemmings (Including Cog) (11:37) A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers (23:04)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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