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Van Der Graaf Generator - World Record CD (album) cover

WORLD RECORD

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 712 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It is really evident from the lyrics and mood of this record that Hammill had been going through some personel trauma (relationship). This album is angry, sarcastic, helpless and melancholic, all of which convey Peter's state at the time, but I like the optimistic way in which it ends. That fighting spirit that is found in "Wondering".

The album opens with "When She Comes" a song that lyrically seems to relate to how unstable and unpredictable relationships are. No guarantees. Definitley some sarcasm here in the lyrics. The song opens with dissonant sax as drums and vocals come in. I like the way the dissonant sax conveys the confusion that our subject is experiencing as the lyrics state "...you think she's eternal, that you think she is everything..." Yes and they are going to live happily ever after right ? Not ! A nice full sound 1 1/2 minutes in. The organ is prominant,and some relaxing sax comes in after 3 1/2 minutes. The original melody is back 5 minutes in. Very aggressive vocals late that certainly suit the lyrics. "A Place To Survive" is about being in that lowest possible place after the breakup of a relationship and trying to fight through it and survive. Again the lyrics are brilliant. I'd like to write down the whole song, it's worth reading them if you have them. The song is mid-paced with the vocals and sax standing out early. The organ arrives and is incredible ! Hammill spits out the words on this toe tapper. This has such a great sound to it, a real instrumental workout for the band. "Masks" is lyrically about being someone you aren't, and so fooling the people you are around. More beautiful sax and organ in this fairly mellow tune. The song gets a little more aggressive after 3 minutes before calming back down after 5 1/2 minutes. Check out the organ late.

"Meurglys III,The Songwriter's Guild" is over 20 minutes in length. Meurglys III is Hammill's guitar, and he reveals in the song that after this breakup that the guitar "...he's my friend, the only one I can trust to let it be without pretense, there's no one else but my guitar...I suppose he'll have to do." I know people complain about the reggae section and Hammill's guitar playing but I think both are perfect for this song. Did I mention that I think Hammill is brilliant ? I'm not the only one who feels this way, and i'll always give him the benefit of the doubt because he's the musical genius. The intro of this song is sort of dark and solemn before we get a full sound. I like it. A pastoral passage of sax, drums and organ continues until the song starts to build 7 1/2 minutes in.The passionate vocals are back after 9 minutes. A crazy uptempo section 11 1/2 minutes in before the reggae melody after 13 minutes arrives. I know people find that this last part goes on too long, but I could listen to it all day. To me it convey's Peter's emotions. That trippy sound reveals the careless attitude of escape, while the raw Neil Young-like guitar is the release that helps in the escape. "Wondering" again features incredible lyrics like "I will arise:in the depths, I will open my eyes; as my breath almost fails me, survive." He's so theatrical here. And later "I will return: as I live, as I breathe, as I burn, I swear I will come through, with my hands stretching out in the dark, with my eye pressed up tight to the glass, wondering if it's all been true." An optimistic song with some mellotron and flute ends this fantastic record.

Another excellent VDGG album.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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