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Peter Hammill - Patience CD (album) cover

PATIENCE

Peter Hammill

Eclectic Prog


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Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No one would argue the work and the existence of Peter Hammill in progressive rock arena. Not that he was one of pioneers of 70s prog rock but he has a unique voice that I have not been able to identify any other voice similar to his. One thing that really unique is in his low-tone voice. So different with other singers, so powerful. I first realized how powerful his voice is when I listened to VAN der GRAFF GENERATOR's "Still Life" album. It's an excellent album especially when I noticed how Hammill sings.

This album is excellent. The uniqueness of HAMMILL's voice is still there. The music was composed beautifully with similar kind of VdGG music. In some tracks there are pan- pipes sound played by David Jackson at background. This sound is terrific, even though the pan-pipes itself does not take the lead for a melody.

"Labour of Love" is a nice slow track with Hammill low voice power. This track is well positioned as an opening track. "You don't remember all the things I've done / You never catch the careful words I choose / Your present will not admit my patient efforts - It's a labour of love I offer to you." It's a very nice opening. The next track "Film Noir" is a more upbeat tempo.

These tracks deserve for attention: "Patient", "Just Good Friends", "Jeunesse D'oree", "Comfortable?" "Traintime". "Patient" is capable of projecting an image to the listener the nuances of a patient waiting for the doctor to come. I especially like the use of violin in this track. It's really good. "Just Good Friends" may have inspired FISH in his "Internal Exile" where he used the same title. Or is it Hammill's song? I don't recall it. For sure, FISH admires Peter Hammill.

"Traintime" at the opening (the keyboard/organ sound) reminds me to GENESIS's "Watcher of the Skies" even though I know that this probably a coincidence (well.. I hope .. since there was no such correlation between VdGG and GENESIS, I think.).

Overall this album is excellent with a very strong songwriting and musicianship. The bass player (Mozart & Nic Potter) play dominantly in some tracks. The only drawback, if I could say it, of this album is that not enough varieties offered. Each song has little variety with others so that it tends to be boring. With the exception "Patient" which has different atmosphere. If you like VdGG, you definitely want this album in your prog collection. - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#17940)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Inevitably, even a out-of-norm personage such as Hammill cannot fully escape the times in which he was writing and recording his album; and as you might guess, the 80's were not the best of time for prog and even for Hammill. But undaunted by these consideration Hammill kept pounding away at his piano, writing very personal songs and churning out albums at an incredible pace. This furious pace of release gives unfortunately some rather poorer results in the quality of his songwriting. One cannot escape the thought that he actually wrote every thought he had and then released them as songs in his albums >> but if that were the case, I think this man was simply never mediocre. This means that there is a great disparity in between his songs and therefore not one album past his VdGG days is great due to the song distribution, but aside from one release, he never made real poor albums either. Among all of the artistes (prog or not), I am convinced that Hammill never actually wrote a "filler" track.

Still with the help of old Graaf members, Hammill unleashes in the early 80's with a load of albums that are not always interesting for those that fail to adore the character. Among the tracks that give the time of the century are Film Noir, Jeunesse Dorée, No More Than Ever >> sometimes approaching a sombre Talking Heads. To resume this album to an 80's album only would be a little reductive, as some tracks are quite impressive - the closer Patient, Traintime and the solemn Just Good Friends - and could all belong to Silent Corner.

This is particular to Hammill : to set aside an album of his is always difficult, because there are always a few tracks which are worthy of keeping , but to invest in an album such as this one for just two or three tracks which would fit on a great album. This prompting me to say that if peter only released one album out of every two, this man would have a fabulous discography.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#77806)
Posted Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Perhaps the last truly great album that Peter Hammill has released, Patience sees a consistently high quality of song writing and performance from Mr Hammill, at a time when he was dangerously close to becoming "hip and trendy" thanks to his being championed as part of the "Handsome Rock" movement being lauded by Dave McCullough who was writing for British music paper "Sounds" (now sadly defunct) at the time (a movement which included The Smiths, which is probably the only time he'll be compared to that group).

Starting off in subdued style with Labour of Love, Hammill sounds world weary on this track, but its not a bad thing its adds a certain something to the pacing of this song a true Labour of Love. The pace is picked up though by Film Noir the story of a struggling actress and her unrequited love for the leading man, which only leads to disaster (".the method actress and the hit.").

Just Good Friends follows and is a true Hammill style gorgeous "love" song, covered by Marc Almond of Soft Cell fame at one point also, then the pace hots up again with Jeuness D'Oree which if memory serves me right was released as a single which is a rarity for Hammill.

The final quartet of songs though really rounds off the album in fine style, Traintime and Now More Than Ever are classic Hammill, really drilling into your brain after a few listens, Traintime with the train style rhythm chugging down the tracks.

Comfortable tells the story of a socialite, who's main concern of church-going is to look good and be seen rather than the religious aspects. Patient rounds the set off in fine style a song about self healing and has some fine acoustic guitar work.

So as I say probably Hammill's last great album well worth seeking out if you are a fan of Hammill's early work and are looking to add to your collection

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Send comments to Gog/Magog (BETA) | Report this review (#86132)
Posted Tuesday, August 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
Peter Pan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a review of the remastered edition of "Patience". I possess the vinyl LP since it was first released in 1983, had no reason to acquire the CD release of 1989 and now with the remastered CD have listened for the first time in 20 years to the whole album and witnessed the rough beauty of this work.Though it has to be said that this time remastering did not produce quite as polished results as the Van der Graaf Generator remasters did.

Patience is one of the albums of the "K" period in which Peter Hammill set up a group with the classical line-up of a beat band: two guitars, bass guitar, drums.

This production can be seen as influenced by New Wave. The remastering even more reveals its powerful and sometimes edgy rock accents. The K Group comprising of Peter Hammill (voc, g), John Ellis (g), Nic Potter (b) and Guy Evans (dr) sounds very compact, highly co-ordinated as a team, and in my opinion better than in the predecessor "Enter K". Some violin, synths, sax and pan-pipe over-dubs don't harm the energetic rock sound.

Eight songs, some calm, some upbeat, most of them great compositions, are perfectly ordered and guarantee versatility and even entertainment though they transport highly demanding lyrics.

Peter Hammill wrote some very concentrated thoughts about topics of modern personal life like the passing of a lifetime, the meaning of dreams, disease, or the ongoing changes of an affair. Lines are short and concise to fit into the rock scheme.

Every title being a gem on its own would deserve a full-blown review but the best songs of Patience are:

"A Labour of Love". Complex structured opener which discusses the fact that labour has to be invested to keep a love going on. I love the drums which open the song. I am no drummer but I think though it sounds easy this is hard to play.

"Still Good Friends". Melancholic reflection about the slow and imperceptible fading of an affair.

"Train time". Hard and rough, metallic. Lyrics with typical multiple meanings.

"More than Ever". It's rewarding listening closely the lyrics which try to sort out the meaning of dreams. Has a nearly psychedelic atmosphere that reminds me of dream sequences in some Hitchcock movies. Like so many other songs from Peter Hammill the lyrics are unique with literary quality.

"Patient". The title track gives an impression what capabilities Peter Hammill has. Highly structured music, ambitious lyrics and challenging breath-taking vocals. The K Band produces a nightmare before your very ears.

One of Peter Hammill's best solo albums.

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Send comments to Peter Pan (BETA) | Report this review (#87933)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars There is an extended band featured on this album. Not only the line-up who recorded the very good "Enter K", it is even broadened with Stuart Gordon on the violin (amongst others).

This is providing probably a less "solo" feeling throughout the album.

But it is also a bit of a deception when I compared it to his prior work (one of his best IMO). Not that this album is bad, but there are hardly any highlights featured. It also has a more "eighties" sound which is not always welcome ("Film Noir").

The next couple of songs are showing a dual Peter: the intimate one during "Just Good Friends" which is peaceful and very sweet (also one of my fave here) while "Jeunesse Dorée" shows the intricate and tortured aspect of his personality. The latter is of course more difficult to apprehend.

The more one advances in the listening of this album, the better the compositions sound. Some "Watcher." feeling during "Traintime" is quite funny. I guess that it is one reason for me to like it more than average. My fave track out of "Patience". But "Now More Than Ever" just completes the picture.

I would say that this album offers some good Hammill songs, probably not on par with "Enter K", but still when one considers the period during which this album was released, one can only be in admiration for Peter's lack of compromise. He never fell as low as all the majors.Hats off Peter!

Three stars for "Patience". Rather an accessible album (within Hammill's standards of course).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#171263)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars When listening to Patience, the two preceding albums - excellent as they were - shrink to not much more then the groundwork for this masterpiece. This album got Hammill even a short taste of (almost) mainstream success. So I'm a bit surprised at both the number of ratings and the overall average, but well there aren't too many Hammill fans around anyway. This was one of the first Hammill albums I sought out so I'm probably a bit biased. But then, I always am :)

Labour of Love sets off with a slow pace, almost as if it's going to be a ballad, but it takes a nice twist after the first verse when the band breaks the rhythm and delivers a nice nod to the VDGG trademark sound. Film Noir is an excellent rock track, catchy but smart and intricate. It's a perfect composition that has not one note out of place. It's one of the few up-tempo tracks that Hammill has recorded and it's surely his best. Just Good Friends is a very mellow Hammill ballad, almost sugary-sweet but just right, with an understated yet vicious lyric.

Jeunesse Dorée is another astounding up-tempo track. It has a great stubborn time signature during the verses and builds up quite a tension that finds its release during the chorus. Simply perfect. And on it goes, Jeunesse Dorée and Now More Than Ever as well are among the strongest rock tracks Hammill has ever penned. Add the tight playing of the band to that and magic happens. The two closing tracks have a slightly more epic approach, Comfortable and Patience especially build towards an intense climax.

Patience is not for every prog-head, if a 4 minute song with verses and choruses doesn't sound appealing to you, you better seek your luck elsewhere. It was the last great record Hammill would release for quite a while. I'd even say we had to wait 20 years till something of equal quality came along with the album Clutch. 4.5 stars.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#252776)
Posted Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A companion piece to Enter K - naturally, since it's the other studio album Hammill recorded with the K Group - Patience sees Hammill continuing his New Wave experimentations, with tracks such as Train Time rivalling the rhythmic experiments of Talking Heads and the 80s incarnation of King Crimson. Between the two, I mildly prefer Enter K with its David Jackson guest appearances, but this piece is still pretty excellent - although Hammill's career would soon enter an extremely patchy and inconsistent period. Worth a try for anyone who enjoys Talking Heads, the 80s King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, and other artists who combined New Wave and prog sensibilities at around this time.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#576069)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2011 | Review Permalink

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