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Peter Hammill - The Future Now CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 252 ratings

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Man With Hat
3 stars A good slice of Peter Hammill.

The Future Now is an interesting release. It covers many aspects of Hammill's solos career, sparse ballad-esque type songs, experimental excursions, more "traditional" type of songs, thought provoking lyrics, and that certain Hammill sound, that is fairly present throughout his solo career, especially at this point in it. In some ways, it is very successful, and in others, it's a bit lacking. First and foremost, I must say, go for the recent 2006 remaster. While I couldn't buy a copy in time, I have the previous CD release and the sound quality is one of the worst from any time in music. The other remasters of that series sound quite good, especially comparatively, thus I imagine it is the same with The Future Now.

Unfortunately, this album is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some absolutely fantastic songs, like the emotional If I Could, the well written and mysterious Energy Vampires, the strange vocal onslaughts of Mediaeval, the powerful title track, and the experimental A Motor Bike In Afrika. However, this is balanced out with the average Pushing Thirty, the unremarkable Still In The Dark, and rather plain The Second Hand (though with some enjoyable Sax work). The other tracks all fall somewhere in between, not reaching the highs of the best of the album, but more interesting than the valleys. (The Mousetrap (Caught In) is probably the best of this bunch.) The music is very much quintessential Hammill. Lots of piano and keyboard (and/or guitar) setting the base for his wonderful voice, and still plenty of variety/quirkiness to provide that little something extra that makes it unique, or at least stand out in the crowd.

All in all, this is a solid release. Some moments of excellence, some poor excursions. However, still a worthy addition to any prog collection, and an essential one in a Peter Hammill collection. I don't think I'd put this in the top 5 Hammill discs, but that's more of a statement on the strength of his solo career as a whole. I'll rate this three stars, but in truth its probably closer to 3.5. I wouldn't start here, but for established fans there should be plenty to like.

Man With Hat | 3/5 |


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