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Peter Hammill - Everyone You Hold CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.42 | 96 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Peter Hammill's '70s solo albums were usually a big hit with Van Der Graaf Generator fans, as they often shared membership and overall approach with what VDGG was doing. But then in the '80s, into the present day, he turned out three-zillion or so albums that rarely mirror his old band's more eccentric ways. He went through a weak period in the '80s, when the thin, digital, too-slick production values of the time robbed his music of the more human, earthy elements that Hammill's music thrives in. In the '90s and into the 2000s, Hammill has been on a hit or miss streak. Thankfully his voice has maintained its warm, emotive, sometimes bitter quality.

'Everyone You Hold' is one of his better '90s albums, adorned with spare instrumentation (mostly keyboards, very few beats) and a warm recording approach that highlights the more grandiose aspects of his compositions. The way it drifts and floats without ever becoming tiresome makes for some satisfying listening, though it's not an album you can pull out on a regular basis. As much as I enjoy it, I'm usually relieved when it's over, as it is quite heavy-not sonically heavy, but with such emotional gravity that it can be a bit trying. There is no standout track, yet no weak track either. If pressed, I'd put "From The Safe House" and the title track at the top of the must-hear list, and would consider "Phosphorescence" a non-highlight. There's a wonderful David Gilmour-esque guitar bit in "Personality" (by Hammill himself) and even Van Der Graaf bandmate Hugh Banton appears on "Personality" and the dramatic "Bubble". If you've ever listened to more than a couple Hammill albums, you'll know he lays his barest emotions on tape, and it sometimes feels like you're watching a man in some difficult private moments. It feels wrong sometimes, but if you want music that will move you profoundly, Hammill delivers like no other. He offers this sort of telescopic survey of his most introspective moments on 'Everyone You Hold'. If you've ever loved his voice and his overall approach, it deserves your attention.

slipperman | 3/5 |


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