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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 | 1106 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Arca1943
5 stars With the passage of time, I tend to listen mostly to side B : « Lost » and « Pionneers over c. » are to me the very definition of what Van Der Graaf Generator was made for. Also, I find the sound of this album absolutely amazing - giant steps ahead of the sound on the preceding album, The Least We Can Do... H to He is also the VDGG album on which Peter Hammill's voice, who later tended to shout excessively (which partly ruins to me even extraordinary songs such as Children's Faith in Childhood's End), is the most powerful and clear at the same time. And the sound of the saxophones is so full you'd believe it is in the next room.

I know that most fans put Pawn Hearts and Godbluff ahead of H to He, but sound-wise I'd say H to He (Who Am the Only One) is certainly the VDGG album to start with as a general introduction for the newcomer : it is the most accessible Van Der Graaf Generator recording, the one whose sounds ages best.

Thirty five years after its recording, Pionneers Over c. remains an extraordinary moment of rock music. While the soul-searching «Lost» opens the door for further evolution towards an increasing ability to marry deeply-felt music with highly elaborated construction, «Pionneers Over c.» illustrates the science-fiction side of Van Der Graaf Generator with amazing beauty, setting the ground for «The Sleepwalkers» and «Still Life» to come. It is also a VDGG purist's dream : all the bass you hear is organ- generated (who needs electric guitar anyway? saxophones and organs to the job much better!)

I don't like many prog rock bands (for example, I can't stand ELP and can endure Yes only at very small doses at a time). But Van Der Graaf Generator to me is something very different. What we refer to as "progressive rock" is often a very cerebral kind of music, too often relying on virtuoso execution and coldly constructed, without much feeling. Thus, to my view, the boredom that too often accompanies this type of music. But with Van Der Graaf Generator something completely different happens. For this one-of-a-kind band, with its one-of-a-kind sound, succeeds at the very, very rare achievement of producing progressive rock that can move the heart and the soul as much as the most taking Mississipi blues, as the most eerie of Bartok's "nocturnal" movements.

Van Der Graaf Generator are the greatest poets of the prog rock planet.

| 5/5 |

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