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Van Der Graaf Generator - H To He, Who Am The Only One CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1572 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I must say, I like this album almost as much as Pawn Hearts. But....but....there is just something that keeps it from being a masterpiece. It's just not quite there yet, but you can hear the seeds being sown for Pawn Hearts in this album for sure.

Killers is the first VDGG song I ever heard (on a prog box set I picked up years ago) and on the strength of that one I looked up info on them and ended up getting Pawn Hearts. I probably would have still wanted more had I gotten this one, but there is nothing wrong with starting with the best album first :-) A good song that shows off the best aspects of the band; the vocals, the sax, the inventive organ work, and the excellent and unique drumming. Not really one of my favorites any more but a very good song nonetheless.

House with No Door is somewhat bland, though features some great flute work from Jackson and Hammill's typically depressing lyrics contrasting a mellow and somewhat cheerful melody.

The Emperor is a great longer track with various changes in dynamics, tempo and time signature. Some great Hammill lyrics and vocals here, and a quite interesting psychedelic multi-tracked guitar solo from Robert Fripp (his only contribution on this album).

Lost is a song I happen to like a great deal, mainly for the lyrics as they remind me of a particular obsession I had with a certain female friend when I was younger. Much like the song, things didn't work out so well :-) Still, there are some interesting parts and a great ending (fading out into cacophony).

Pioneers is one of my favorite VDGG songs, a sort of musical interpretation of faster than light travel and its consequences on the traveler. A very rare song for Hammill, not being a painfully personal introspective song but a sort of sci-fi epic. Some great sections and schizophrenic time changes do a good job of relaying the paradoxes of light speed travel (to me, anyhow).

All in all, a very good album that I like quite a bit. The remaster is worth picking up just to have the excellent 15 minute Squid 1/ Squid 2/ Octopus (plus, the sound quality is quite improved over the original CD release). This album is the place to go next if you like Pawn Hearts, just don't expect an album as good. But this certainly pointed the way to that album.

infandous | 4/5 |


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