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Peter Hammill - None Of The Above CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill

Eclectic Prog

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1 stars i never thought i'd say this i just can not get into this album i have been a fan of the great man since i first heard the comet the course and the tail in about '78 but this the first time i've struggled with a hammill album my advice to people is always to buy everything p.h recorded and learn the true meaning of artist but i say to them buy this last
Report this review (#18776)
Posted Saturday, December 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars I have to agree entirely with the review by dougie and it really hurts to give Hammill such a low score. I worked really hard to get into a similiar album "Everyone you hold" because I was uncomfortable with the choral effects which are also very present here. I'm gonna be cruel, I think this album was written just to make use of his daughters on vocals. There I've said it.

Just about every song has parts that really grate. I don't know if Peter's composing has become so sophisticated that I'm kind of left behind but I found nothing here that really pleased. After owning this cd for a year I finally got the courage to bin it and I feel quite relieved. Excuse me while I get back to listening to "Silent Corner....."

Report this review (#18779)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Peter Pan
3 stars This is no "progressive" and no easy "pop" music. You would come close to a description if you called it "Eight songs by a contemporary artist". A live performance would be called a "Liederabend" here in Germany.

"None of the Above" belongs to a set of three albums Peter Hammill recorded around the millenium "None of the Above" (2000) is more accessible as "This" (1998, its predecessor) and "What, now?" (2001, its successor) but not as thrilling as "X my Heart" (1996) or "Everyone you hold" (1997). Maybe Peter Hammill was so involved in the sessions of remastering the VDGG songs for "The Box" (2000) that at the time not all of his musical capabilites were flowing into his solo productions?

Still this album contains interesting songs. The first seven ones all have the same topic. A human being comes to an end of a phase in his life - in very different circumstances. And the eighth song ("Astart") says: every end can be a new start. The mood of the album is rather sad and calm - suiting the theme. You might hear it in a quiet hour.

Instrumentation is harmonic and well worked out - dominated by guitars (more as a "colour-wash" here as PH said), keyboards and in some cases strings and choir. With minor contributions of fellow musicians all instruments are played by PH.

Personally I find "Naming the rose" the most touching of the songs. It is about a gardener who names his last creation - a beautiful damask rose - after his wife which died on the very day the best blossom opened. The rose breeder fertilizes the seeds of the variety with the ashes of his wife. So the couple that had no children both lived on in the new rose. No "kitsch", Peter's vocals are very touching with a sweet and fragile sounding voice, very carefully instrumented - and Peter proves that he even knows the vocabulary of rose gardening. Some of the varieties he mentions grow in my garden!

Paul Rideout has once again designed a beautiful congenial booklet. Each double page shows a washed-out photo presenting a stair or ladder ending into nowhere or against a bricked entrance or upon a empty floor with black garbage bags staying around. Only the last double page for the song "Astart" shows busy people on an elevator rolling into some kind of shop scene. -

An essential addition to any PH collection.

Report this review (#37586)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I agree, this is slightly worse than other Hammill albums, especially after such great works as "Everyone you hold" and "this", but it's not that bad! In fact it's really good -.. Well, "somebody bad enough" and "astart" are rather disapointing songs. "Touch and go" is quite good, but almost an obvious song... somehow too "hammillian". And maybe it's rather an collection of songs than an album... But still, we have "how far i fell" and "bottle" and "veronica" - these are really good tracks. Yes, it's less than you expect from Hammill, but... I wish more artists could record their weak albums as good as this one!
Report this review (#72982)
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars This umpteenth album from one of the most prolific songwriter is yet another typical album (as if such a thing could exist coming from such an eclectic artist as Hammill), and is a quite reflective and deeply personal album. The songs are always quiet, melancholic and have solemn quality about them. In some ways, you could imagine that Leonard Cohen could have written such an album if he had a progressive touch as Hammill does. Do not get the wrong idea, I am not calling TAG a prog album per se, but clearly there are strong evidence of this at times. If I mention Cohen, it is because outside of one track, Like Veronica (a much faster, harder and tougher track), the album is much like a slow, serene, supremely confident, but at the same time full of anguish, uncertainty in its lyrics. The tracks are up to 90% of their length sung, the instrumentation is rather sparse, even a bit basic and mostly acoustic, but there is not one shadow of a doubt that we are in the Hammill planet realm.

Certainly a beautiful album, with its all too personal songs (even if they are sometimes easy to relate to), this is an album I would recommend only to Hammill aficionados but not to the casual VdGG fan, expecting some of that group's remnants.

Report this review (#77196)
Posted Friday, May 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is one Hammill's least interesting albums. The songs are too calm and on the boring side. Although no song is really bad, the majority of the songs have no real identity nor spirit. Apart from "How far I fell', "Somebody bad enough" and "In a bottle" the rest of the album can be easily neglected and the listening experience is rather tedious and painful.
Report this review (#78149)
Posted Sunday, May 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars During his long career, Peter delivered lots of albums: some with a full band which could easily be correlated with the Graaf work, some with a smaller structure which were more personal and others with Peter holding most of the instruments. These efforts were more intimate.

In terms of band structure, "None Of The Above" belongs to the latter category. The whole burden relying on the vocal parts. This is fine during the opening and moving "Touch & Go" but much more of a problem when "Naming The Rose" has finished.

Peter's voice is always as magical as ever, but most songs are a bit of some second tier ones. The worst of all "Somebody Bad Enough" is truly embarrassing. What happened, Peter? A very poor melody combined with some bossa nova background music! Quite nightmarish.

My favourite song from this album is "Tango for One". It is another one of these touching songs, like there's only Peter to deliver. A light structure but such an emotion conveyed in these vocal lines. I wish we'd get more of this type on "None of the Above" instead of the noisy and dull "Like Veronica".

I just can consider this Hammill album as being an average one. Two stars.

Report this review (#182439)
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars After the slightly more rocking This, None of the Above returns to the balladry of Hammill's more reflective persona. Just like its companion Everyone You Hold, this ballad album shares similar qualities but also suffers from the same weaknesses.

With Touch and Go Hammill again sets off most convincingly. But the quality is not continued. Naming the Rose submerges into the drowsy sameness that made Hammill's previous ballad albums hard to sit through. How Far I Fell is a lot better again, with inspired melodies and a strong tension that is maintained throughout. Halfway in it contains a piano section with trademark Hammill time signatures and interwoven melodic patterns.

And it continues up and down. Somebody Bad Enough doesn't do much for me but Tango for One and especially the more upbeat Like Veronica keep the album interesting. In A Bottle starts with dissonant processed guitars but doesn't turn into a rock song. Instead it's one of the most experimental and ambient tracks on the album. Quiet, but quite enjoyable again. Astart is an unremarkable album closer.

In the past Hammill's ballads used to have more bite, but if you are open towards a more mellowed out and atmospheric approach, you might enjoy a lot of music on this album. I'd rather recommend this album to David Sylvian fans then to Hammill aficionados.

Report this review (#253702)
Posted Monday, November 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After more than 35 years of Prog in my life, here arrives NONE OF THE ABOVE. A big fan of VDGG since early 70's, always thought this band would be forever underrated. The same with Peter Hammill. The other Peter conquered the world with more accessible (very good) material, but this Peter would continue in the underground world. Since the 70's the music wasn't the same. Creativity ended up in the late 70's and comercial times arrived. In 2000 this beautiful CD appeared and I bought it with curiosity. I think this album is perfectly magical for a listenner like me, who was tired of unsuccessfully searching for new and fresh music. Never thought it was so damn good! It is dark like all VDGG but fresh at the same time. I'm a guitar player myself and I think Peter did a very good job with the guitars. He is a fairly good piano player too. Great songs, sound ambients, lyrics, majestic hymns (Astart) like the old times. It´s a nowadays masterpiece.

Report this review (#1730366)
Posted Monday, June 5, 2017 | Review Permalink

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