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


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 743 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Van Der Graaf Generator in 1976, with a short distance from Still Life, churned out the third Lp in a year and a half, and after the short Godbluff, the duration of the records increased more and more, in fact they went from 35 minutes of Godbluff to 52 minutes of World Record. The sound remains dry, almost live, with the drums always too prominent, and Hammill's voice increasingly hoarse and choked, so much so that the overall sound becomes more and more shocking. This album features Hammill's acid- sounding electric guitars that anticipate the next record.

Side A. 1. When She Comes (7:58) After a pastoral preamble of classical music conducted by Jackson's flute begins the first song, marked by Evans's rhythm too prominently and too monotonous. In the instrumental part we recognize the usual van der graaf sound, but on the whole the song is by trade, without inspiration. there is a distressing progression but not up to the past and Hammill's voice on the high notes is too choked. Vote 7,5.

2. A Place to Survive (10:00) Very cadenced ballad with Hammill's hoarse voice that makes her heartbreaking. Sound rough, at times noisy, deafening, almost hard rock. VdGG scoffs and sounds shrill, scratchy, loud, acidic, to the point where we are indisposed to listening. The production of the pieces affected his listening. Rating 7.

3. Masks (6:55) Third song, Masks, with a slow start, ballad with drums and saxophone but soon came the electric guitars almost hard rock, and the piece becomes a hard-pop-rock, which completely changes rhythm towards the middle - typical proressive change. The sax plays on the low notes. The sound is bad, it's difficult to arrive to the end. Rating 6,5

End of Side A. The worst first side of VdGDS ever until 1976.

Side B: 1. Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild (20:47) The Meurglys III suite arrives almost twenty-one minutes, certainly the most challenging piece on the album, which begins with a dissonant rhythm between the relaxed and the obsessive, the guitars are acid. Van Der Graaf has now moved far away from Godbluff. A very slow and jazzy instrumental piece arrives, and after a routine beginning Van der Graaf come back to amaze, the level of qualifying rises a lot. At about 4 and a half minutes the song stops, and then re-starts slowly, with Hammill's singing almost quietly. Then begins a long instrumental piece, very good, ruined in part by the excessive amplification of Evans' drums, too prominently, especially with the sound of the case. Also here comes Hammill's acid electric guitar, the group reach an hybrid music, remarkable, an acidic, obsessive jazz. It follows a noise, cacophonous piece, which then leads towards 12 minutes and 45 seconds to a new pause, a short sung piece by Hammill that ends at 13 minutes and 15 seconds and then about 7 minutes of instrumental tail. Masterpiece. Rating 8.5

5. Wondering (6:33) The second side could end with Meurglys III, instead VdGG decide to add a ballad guided by keyboards and flutes where Hammill's singing fights with music. VdGG seem to have lost the proportions between music and singing and sound, the right balance that is found from the second to the fourth album. The song sounds pompous, and again is ruined by sound, arrangement and singing. Vote 7.

Total Time: 52:13

With this completely heterogeneous album, marked by 4 modest songs, ruined by the overall sound, and a great, wonderful suite, Van Der Graaf proves that they have lost their sound and their internal cohesion, and that they need a break.

Rating: 7.5. Three Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |


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