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Van Der Graaf Generator - Still Life CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.29 | 1441 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After the Generator scored one hit (Godbluff) and one miss (Pawn Hearts) in my book, I chose the next step to the album that contained some material written during the Godbluff sessions.

Seemed like good logic, but I am less than pleased with the results.

Godbluff had lots of rocking, which I think this band can really do well. This continues into Still Life. However, on Godbluff, even the expository or softer bits had an edge, or at least moved along rather briskly. Not so with Still Life, particularly with the title track and My Room. Even the closer, Childlike Faith, has too many slow bits to keep me into things.

Some love Hammill's voice others detest it. I tolerate it--even appreciate it at times--but at no point do I think it can carry the music, particularly with falsettos and extended vibratos. It just sounds bad to my ears when it's used more than sparingly...and unfortunately it's on full display in Still Life.

Highlights for me include Pilgrims, the opener which features a stately pace and melodies to match. The best of course is La Rossa, which contains most of what the band does best: greasy sax, hammerin' hammond, and a rousing finale, with a special nod to great use of the cowbell. Bravo!

To those who love this album, I suppose we're speaking different dialects and certainly have different tastes. It's pretty tame by Generator standards, but it's also uniquely VDGG enough that the throbbing masses will have little tolerance for what's inside.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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