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Peter Hammill - This CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars I am writing this in 2004, because i just made a bad review of Incoherence and for me THIS is the last great album of Peter ...We all know by now that this is the 40th album on his 50th year after 30 years of career. This seemed to inspired him. No surprise that THIS is from the lasts albums the most played live! So here it is again cut by cut the horrible job of criticism( let's not writ this word correctly) It starts with voices that sets a quiet mood but soon in UNREHEARSED it becomes a lot more heavy and interesting! Jaxon plays saxes and flutes, the middle part is just a bit too long ( around the 5th minute) then it ends with :this is the real thing! You believe him STUPID sounds like a sequel of WHAT I DID from Sitting targets. The voice starts with a shout that's remind me of some Hammill singing on Fripp's Exposure! The riff is good, Jaxon is funny and tense.Eveything seems to come a bit in slow motion in this cut! Just like when we slowly realise that we did something stupid! A really good cut! SINCE THE KIDS starts by 2 or 3 chords bashed on the piano! Is it the anger of the father? Then quietness and peacefull singing, the voices are overdubbed in an economic and efficient way! Nothings prepare you to be a parent Hammill sings and the piano is minimalist almost japaneese mood that reflects the sadness of the lines: WHAT YOU WANTED WHAT I COULDN'T GIVE. Very touching, very true , so perfect. . THIS IS REAL he sings again. The pain is just a little more controll and sober than AUTUMN on OVER and in fact no wonder that Peter played those 2 songs together in Quebec city on his last North American tour. NIGHTMAN starts with beautifull guitar, something spanish is floating in the air. The violin follows the voice.The duo of guitars and violin is really inspire here and they fall in a Danse Macabre that is hypnotizing! Jaxon enters and we touch the stars!The most powerfull cut in a long time for Peter! FALLEN(THE CITY OF NIGHT) starts with beautifull singing and piano, guitar, violin, very thight, very beautifull : All the fences overblown and the next lines are so amazingly sings , it becomes hard and tense and soft again..evrything is alternate with so much perfection and sensitivity that my whole body is crying and i cried the first time i heard it! Only hammill, Wyatt and Phillips(long time ago) reached that point for me! 42 seconds of a beautifull violin after the anguish ends of FALLEN! Then ALWAYS IS NEXT that sounds of an outake from Foreign town!But more Powerfull,it reaches madness in an uncalculate way! Old Man Delirium! Then the LIGHT CONTINENT. A definitely new world for Peter! New explorations! Hypnotizing again our souls! With fripp and Eno moods and floating voices that brings you to the south pole from the start till the end of the cut! Red blood on an iceberg! All the fears.... Here is all the talent of and old excentric British guy!THIS is really a fascinating mirror of an exceptionnal talent! Good old wine (for those who drinks, i stopped that long time ago) THIS is the real thing!
Report this review (#18771)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Even if the gang of the pH quartet are supporting Peter, he wanted this album to be a very much personal matter (at least he said so).

But, as usual, it is the more band oriented songs that I will prefer. "Unrehearsed" has the indefinite Graaf feeling I like so much. Mighty Jackson is as great as ever and Stuart's violin is just remarkable. When you would combine these elements with a passionate vocal part, you just have to acknowledge that this song is outstanding.

Same perspective for "Since the Kids" which is another highlight from "This". More tranquil but same passion. These moments are pure joy. During his long and (too) prolific career, Peter has dotted his albums with such wonderful songs.

I wasn't really enthusiast about Peter's output in the nineties and "This" might well be his best work since "Roaring Forties" or "Out Of Water". The delicacy of "Nightman" or "Fallen" is so moving. Hammill at his best. Like he should have always been. Stuart being a very good add-on of course.

Some less inspired songs here and there ("Stupid", "Always Is next") bring the listener back on earth again. The long and closing epic is more on the experimental and atmospheric side.

About this song, Peter said: "This was entirely improvised as far as music is concerned. I began playing one morning in a completely open - if somewhat anxiously reflective and somber - frame of mind. Just I'm making music, in a free sense. I played my one continuous pass, adjusting the various sound sources I was using as I went.

Again, a process of editing brought the piece into (admittedly long) shape. By this time the vocal line, theme and lyrics were well under way. David and Stuart's contributions were made under strict rules: they were allowed only two passes each. The first was without having heard the music at all; the only reference points I gave them were It's 14 minutes long and it's Antarctic. I remain really happy with this piece".

My feeling is probably more mixed, but "This" remains a good album in the man's discography. Three stars.

Report this review (#181236)
Posted Sunday, August 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars This is another steady Hammill album, it has a mix of ballads and semi-rock tracks. It is enjoyable all the way through but still lacks the vigour and inspiration to make it much better then just, well, 'regular'.

Unrehearsed is a nice song that mixes Hammill's calm 90's side with an attempt at VDGG craziness. Stupid returns to the experiments from the 78-81 period. It's ok but pales in comparison to its obvious examples. Since the Kids is a first real high point and another example that Hammill was a lot more successful at writing soft ballads in the 90's then at his many dreary attempts to 'rock' in that period. Also Nightman is a beautiful calm piece with an excellent interplay between acoustic guitar and violin.

The ambient closing track The Light Continent is a very sparse and quiet yet haunting piece. As I've pointed out in other reviews, this kind of music might really win over some David Sylvian fans. It's very similar to Sylvian's ambient music but here it's done by a much better vocalist (Oops, shouldn't have said that :)

With this album Hammill continued the growing quality curve that had set in with X My Heart. It will be of little interest to the majority of prog heads but this is one of Hammill's good 90's efforts that fans might want to pick up. 3.5 stars

Report this review (#253405)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink

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