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Van Der Graaf Generator - Still Life CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.29 | 1441 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This is the first album that I have listened from this band. Maybe I expected very much from this band after reading several reviews about their albums, and after reading that many people considers this band in the same "level" and "sound" as GENESIS (recording albums in the same label, Charisma Records, and also touring together sometimes in the 70s), YES, and other famous and praised Progressive Rock bands. Maybe I`m not fair with this band, but it took me several listenings, and this album is not as interesting for me as other albums by other Progressive Rock bands. It is "hard listening" for me, really. This is an "atypical" band in several things, in my opinion. Their history tells that Peter Hammill was signed to a record label as a soloist, and that he had this band. He had the songs, and the rest of the musicians simply played them in their first album in 1969. The band split in 1972. Hammill then started a solo career. Later, he reformed the band for more albums during the mid 70s. So, this band has mainly Hammill`s songs and vision, with few collaborations from the other members in the songwriting. This is a band without a regular bass player (like the band called Traffic), without predominant guitars, with the organ being the main instrument accompanied by the drums, and occasional saxes. I think that Hammill shares with Peter Gabriel the taste and sound of "theatrical vocals". Hammill has a very good voice, but sometimes his vocals sound to me with "exaggerated emotions". He is a very good lyricist. I like some parts of the lyrics in this album. "Existentialist" lyrics. Maybe this is the best part of this album, but the music is not very interesting for me. The sound of the saxes is for me similar to the sound of the late Chris Wood from the band Traffic. I have never listened to Hammill`s solo albums, but I know that he has released a lot of solo albums and I think that he really never needed to have this band to have fans for his music and lyrics. The first time that I heard him sing was in Robert Fripp`s "Exposure" album. I heard a strong very good voice in that album, and this also made me expect very much from this band. I consider this "Still Life" album only for the fans of Van der Graaf Generator. So, I give to this album a 2 stars rating.
Guillermo | 2/5 |


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