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


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 1961 ratings

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4 stars OK I always had a problem with this album. After being initiated to the cult of VdGG via first two albums, I did not appreciate enough their later works, partly because of Hammill's attitude "I am a poet, not a songwriter, you have to understand what I am trying to achieve". While I liked the overall philosophy of the band mixing influences from sci-fi, avant-garde jazz, English folk and sea shanties, poetry of "science", Manichaean dualistic struggle between Good and Evil within the Human spirit, fascination with the sea exploration and fight against the natural disasters, literary conceptions found in the works of Konrad and Melville, dark horror and gothic feeling of Edgan A. Poe, at times Hammill crossed the line, delivering unaccessible songs in favour of his personal catharsa.

And "Pawn Hearts" fit into this frame well, after years of listening and trying to "get it". I always considerd "Man-erg" the masterpiece song, following the pattern of "House with no Door" from the previous album, but the remaining minutes of "Pawn" were very painful experience. "Lemmings" and the suite "Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" are really an acquired taste: I was often urged to press the stop button to end the agony, sometimes I managed to survive but to no avail.

Finally it got me into its world after repeated listening, but I still wonder how to evaluate this work?! I mean you can give it equally 5 as a masterpiece and 2 as "for fans only", depending on your position and you will not make mistake in either way! "Man-erg" values 4 on its own so what the heck...?

Seyo | 4/5 |


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