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


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 1961 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "The killer lives inside me; yes, I can feel him move, sometimes he's lightly sleeping in the quiet of his room..."

...hmmm, Pawn Hearts, the "Music of the Sea". Thus titled in an italian magazine in the 1971 year, just after this "prog monstrum" saw the light, curiously ignored in its motherland. Not so in Italy, where the success reached so high peaks (1st place of the charts for many weeks) up to become very soon the epitome of "ART" in all the rock history.

The progression of the three tracks are really astonishing. One cannot even take a breath at the very first listen. Fortunately this is one of the very few albums which is difficult to listen each time, even if the listener is a old good prog lover. In fact this music is not for passive ears. This is music for heart and mind: deep and romantic but never boring (inceasingly exciting), disturbing and spectral but never frustrating (inceasingly involving), out of schemes but never uncertain (music inceasingly flows like a river and the way is already planned).

I don't know if Hammill, Evans, Banton and Jackson knew then perfectly where they wanted to go or where they were going to. The sound goes from apocalyptic to salvific and so the vocals, nevermore so sharp and intriguing, in my humble opinion. Albums of the second era ("generation" would be the correct word) will not have an equal pureness neither the same imaginative power. Records as Godbluff or Still Life show a band somehow searching for new formulas and ideas. Contamination seems to be the key for those (justly memorable, by the way) works.

Some few words have to be spoken for this fabulous remastered re-issue! Could not believe such an improvement in sound's quality. All the money is certainly worth to be spent until the last cent!

Just my little contribution to make Pawn Hearts climb the top 100 chart!

Andrea Cortese | 5/5 |


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