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Peter Hammill - The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 764 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars A refinement and perfection of the model established on Chameleon In the Shadow of the Night. Once again, the whole of Van der Graaf Generator returns to record a storming version of a track originally intended for the followup to Pawn Hearts - in this case, it's A Louse Is Not a Home, which takes the themes of isolation and dissolution of identity from In the Black Room and sets it in an architectural framework which results in some of the band's best playing and Hammill's most clever lyrics. ("Maybe... I should... delouse this place... maybe... I should... de- PLACE this LOUSE!!!") Once again, we have odd "prog singer-songwriter" tracks with Hammill alone or accompanied by sparse instrumentation, as on Wilhelmina or The Lie.

There are also some masterful collaborations, such as Red Shift (featuring Spirit's Randy California on guitar), and some tracks which once again reveal a learning for prog excess, such as Forsaken Gardens. And opening track Modern is one of the most startlingly original of the tracks that Hammill developed during the VdGG hiatus between Pawn Hearts and Godbluff, pointing the way to the avant-garde experimentation his solo career would take in later eras. Quite simply vital.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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