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Peter Hammill - Fool's Mate CD (album) cover

FOOL'S MATE

Peter Hammill

 

Eclectic Prog

3.74 | 212 ratings

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slipperman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This debut solo album from Peter Hammill is a nice look at the man's multi-facets in a more straightforward light, but this approach didn't last long. Even one more album in this vein would've been nice, but it never happened. (Of course, I don't lament masterpieces like 'In Camera' or 'The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage').

'Fool's Mate' benefits from having the other Van Der Graaf Generator members along for the ride, as well as the incomparable Robert Fripp. All are clearly heard exerting their musical personalities, but within the framework of curiously short songs. As usual, Hammill takes center stage with his songwriting and captivating voice. Highlights that I cannot ever listen to enough include "Vision" and "The Birds". If there are songs more beautiful than this, I have yet to hear them.

Elsewhere we get the zany "Imperial Zeppelin", the life-affirming "Re-awakening", the mini- epic "Viking", the springtime brightness of "Sunshine" and a handful of introspective mood pieces.

Oddly, this is the only Peter Hammill solo album from the '70s era that could never have doubled as a VDGG album. This gives it a special place in his discography...the fact that it contains 12 solid, strong, wonderful songs is another reason for continued revisitation. I'm not usually taken by short, concise, simple songs, but this one works because Hammill is not a vacant pop artist. He's clearly a sensitive person who needs to get this stuff out of his system...and we all get to witness his emotional outpourings. 'Fool's Mate' stands as one of his most successful communications.

slipperman | 4/5 |

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