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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Van Der Graaf Generator - ALT CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

2.48 | 215 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars "Alt" is meant to represent another side of VDGG, one they haven't shown on recent studio albums. It's a VDGG showing experimentation, search and innovation, but frankly, the split-up between the generally confused experimentation on this album and the rather dull song writing and worn-out ideas of the previous two releases couldn't be more frustrating.

"Alt" is an album that has more ideas and gut in any random minute then the 2 previous VDGG albums combined, but that gut is totally directionless, a misguided missile that lacks Hammill's sharp songwriting. If the previous VDGG album was a Hammill solo album with the wrong band logo on the sleeve, then this is the result of internal politics allowing Banton and Evans to show off their chops. Why can't we have the best of both worlds combined into one anymore? It shouldn't be out of their reach, they sure didn't have any problem doing so in the 70s.

"Alt" has turned out to be many's favorite "let's bash an album" of the year. Well, it's an easy victim given how much it challenges the expectations from fans, certainly after our ears got lazy from the rather dreary easy-listening-VDGG of recent years. Nevertheless, despite my frustrations with "Alt", I found it an interesting and in places beautifully abstract album, especially the second half is most satisfying. I also haven't missed Jackson's saxophone on this album. Hats of to Hugh Banton for this.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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