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

H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1114 ratings

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FromAbove
5 stars H to He, Who Am the Only One is a testament to the Prog rock genre. Literally the pinnacle creation of Eclectic Prog. Forget the guitar in this music, these guys make the album work! With only 5 songs (6, since I have the remaster), they bust out an influential album that defines them as the creator of their style of prog. Nothing short of amazing.

Killer was the first reason this album was incredible. The main riff is ominous yet simple. It's enough to get one excited for what's next. Hammill's vocals are just great, with his bellowing and sustain. Evans is amazing on the drums with this song, filling in all the empty space. The middle section/organ solo/sax solo is by far the best segment this album has to offer. The speed and ferocity of the middle solos is what brings this piece to great heights; the demonstration of musicianship.

House With No Door is a good favorite, not just for its piano, but the lyrics and Hammill's singing. He does hold up the song very well and shows dynamics in his singing. This song is also fun to sing along to, and is a kind of soother depending on the mood. The lyrics can be depressing, but its similar to many of the other songs and fits with the overall tone of the album.

The Emperor In His War Room became a recent favorite, not just because of Evans' drumming, but also because of the harmonies and use of sounds. The panning from left to right and echoes used. The song does go over a similar pattern throughout, but its full of paranoia and sensation. The lyrics match up with the sound of music, and the eerie sounds make it all the more come to life.

Lost is such a long winded piece, with the intro not necessarily matching the rest of the song. A key thing to notice is how fast-paced the song can be then transition to a maudlin piece. The lyrics are terribly depressive like House With No Door, but you can hear the agony in Hammill's voice... comparable to Epitaph by King Crimson, but Hammill seriously blows Lake out of the water. You can't tell if there's a transition between parts of the song either. Even though the lyrics sound fictionally different, they share the song together. Also the ending, which I find interesting... It sounds like the ending of 21st Century Schizoid Man, but fades out quickly, like its cutting the listener off from what's actually happening. I would really like to hear the end, with all that insanity, but maybe that's the band's way of saying there doesn't need to be an end to it.

First time I listened to Pioneers over c was late at night. The "Touch with my mind" chorus and the sax solo really creeped me out. I avoided the song until I chose to listen to it several times more. The overall complexity of the song astounded me, which was probably why I initially didn't like it. There's so much going on in those 12 1/2 minutes, ranging from a sax playing by itself, to fast paced piano/drums/flute overdubbed with toms and creepy synth effects, to an even creepier Hammill singing. The horror in the story is truly brought out, and the conclusion is certainly the best part. After Hammill's last chorus, it takes about another minute to end the song, which boosts the gravity of the end. This remains my favorite song on the album and should be considered one of the best songs they've made.

I haven't listened to Squid 1/Squid 2/Octopus enough to put my opinion on it. But in the times I have listened to it, I thought it to be a good piece, and felt it would sound interesting live around their time period. It sound like a studio recording, but even more sounds like a live-studio recording.

My only complaint is that the track times listed on the remaster packaging are all wrong and jumbled up.

This is truly one of the best prog albums I've listened to so far, and I continue to enjoy it with every single listen.

FromAbove | 5/5 |

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