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Peter Hammill - What , Now? CD (album) cover

WHAT , NOW?

Peter Hammill

 

Eclectic Prog

3.25 | 81 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With the turn of the millennium, Hammill finally crawled out of the creative dip that had befallen him since 1984. While he had still penned the occasional good song and even a few decent albums, nothing was as consistent and gripping as his 2001 release What Now?. At certain moments, it is almost as if this album announces the imminent VDGG reunion.

Here Come the Talkies starts off like the many other good ballad he had done in the years before, but halfway in, it gradually changes into a frenzied nerve attack like we hadn't enjoyed since his last great album Patience. Sharp processed guitars, sound effects and unsettling rhythms turn this into a great progressive piece that would not misfit on VDGG's Present. The songs ends with a short reprise of the opening ballad section.

Next on are three short and sweet songs that have more inspiration and variation then on any of the preceding Hammill albums. Especially Far-Flung is most captivating with its excellent guitar picking. It's a hint of what he would do on the ensuing masterpiece Clutch.

Lunatic In Knots is a longer piece that ends somewhere halfway between Hammill's reflective moods and the more brooding tendencies of VDGG's Still Life. By the end it picks up some speed but the rather straightforward 4/4 beat doesn't really do it justice. As on most of the preceding Hammill albums, I can't say I'm very impressed by the unimaginative drumming of Manny Elias.

The ten minute long Edge of the Road isn't a progressive track (if you would have hoped for that) but a good extended ballad with an interesting textured sound. Again, apart from the substandard percussion, it's a good piece.

With two more tracks to go, this album could still toss either to the 3 stars or to the 4 stars side. While both Fed To The Wolves and Enough are good tracks, they aren't any better then just good.

The next album Clutch was recorded without percussion. Hammill would return to the idiom of Chameleon In The Shadow of the Night and deliver one of his best albums in a long long while. What Now? can't claim similar excellence but its nevertheless a very consistent album. 3 solid stars.

Bonnek | 3/5 |

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