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Van Der Graaf Generator - Still Life CD (album) cover

STILL LIFE

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 994 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Raccoon
5 stars It may take some time to truly love this prog gem, partly due to Hammill's voice. Once you acquire the taste, you'll live it, love it. There's no denying the ragged beauty of each song on this album, what this amazing band has (besides a singer who sings all different types of moods) is solid instrumentation throughout. Each song has a pace which builds, a wide variety of flavors which prevents any one of these songs from becoming boring or dull. The KEY to a great prog album!

A cinema of sound, Pilgrims has a bitter-sweet loveliness to it, with vocals building up, becoming rougher and rougher. Because of this, Pilgrim's was one of Van Der Graaf's bigger hits, being played at multiple concerts. Definitely a reasonable pick, as it's one of the best song on the entire album!

One of the more calmer pieces, the album-titled Still Life is filled to the brim with intelligent lyrics to keep the listener following each word from Hammill's spoken mouth. Unlike all the other songs on this album, the beat never really increases and what's left is a story only following one storyline, nonetheless another great song.

Perhaps the most aggressive song is La Rossa, which is a constantly-changing, tempo-breaking masterpieces. Through listening to this valiant effort, it only gets better and better, this rough beauty stays fresh through the entire listen, towards the end this gem truly shines. And oh how it shines brightly.

My Room (Waiting For Wonderland) can only be described as a Van Der Graaf lullaby, not that it's boring but the utter sweetness of the drums, sax, and piano. The title tells all, as the sound resembles a dream. If I must critique, my only complaint is it's perhaps too short, Graaf could of made an entire album from this piece. Just pure brilliance.

To end the album on a high note, we're left with Childlike Faith In Childhood's End. The song really sets the tone for the whole album, a calming presence oozes out. After 2 minutes, the vocals begin to build strength as Hammill puts the listener in a vocal voyage. Like the whole album, there's touches of a jazzy feel to all of it. From soft, to sharp, to a peaceful grace this song is ever-changing. As the other review said, a perfect ending to a perfect album. Luckily this song is so long in length, leaving you with a theatrical ending instead of a quick finisher.

All together, this Van Der Graaf Generator album is by far different then any other album produced by this legendary band. (Though, each album seems completely separate, an important skill to keep the listener to buy each and every album) A much jazzier type of feel, I wouldn't say the best Graaf album, only because each album is unique and incredible. But if you're trying out the Graaf for the first time, the highest recommendation goes to Still Life.

Raccoon | 5/5 |

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