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Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.43 | 2260 ratings

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The Wizard
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Pawn Hearts is Van Der Graaf Generators magnum opus, there finest album. It is a fusion of jazz, hard rock, chamber music, psychedelia, avant garde, poetry, and proto- punk. The mixture comes out a progressive masterpiece. In my opinion the album is flawless. Every moment is perfectly executed. The musicianship is in tip-top shape, yet the remain incredbley expressive. David Jackson, who plays a saxaphone, never fails to rock, yet experiments constantly, employing sounds and noises that are heavy, dark, and ultimately expressive. His use of devices insures that that every sound is unique and shows he is unlike any musician, a true original. Hugh Banton play an incredible organ. Instead of focusing on fast solos, he plays gothic overtones that show an even hightened sense of dread. Guy Evans may be the most underrated drummer ever. Playing jazzy rythms and maddening staccatos, he is a force to be reckoned with. They combine to make instruments that make pawn hearts the sonic attack that it is.

Peter Hammil is who makes this record though. His songwriting is amazing, and he deals with some of the most dark and facinating subject matter a rock band may indulge in. The lyrics are introspective, but at the same time use sci-fi elements. And his voice. It is incredibley bizarre, which scares many people away from this band. He uses it like an instrument though. Robert Fripp said he is the Hendrix of the voice. That may be true. He uses several different to express the lyrics. He dosn't just sing them, he makes you feel them. At times it is sweet, then it is angsty and rough, which shows his punk rock influence. At times he cowers in fear. Robert Fripp also lends a hand in this record, employing his sonic guitar runs on the songs.

In Pawn Hearts VDGG perfect there sound and issue a flawless record. In there first real record (The Least We Can Do) they find there soun. In 'H to He' they perfect there sound. Then in Pawn Hearts they unless upon us there masterpiece. Highly reccomended.

The Wizard | 5/5 |


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