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Van Der Graaf Generator - Present CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.61 | 490 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Well, what can I say? Certainly the best comeback album I've ever heard from a rock band. The first three tracks are classic VDGG. As good as anything from their second phase albums (but not as good as anything from their first phase albums............but how could they really top those, and would they really even want to try.....though were certainly a product of manic youth that really couldn't be reproduced by their older selves). They certainly picked a good track order, as the songs more or less go from best to least on CD1. Though the first 2 are a toss up for best track for me, as both are fantastic songs, the only big difference being one is instrumental and one sung (and one by Jackson and one by Hammill :-) But they are both fantastic. The third track is excellent, but not quite as good as the previous two. Tracks 4 and 5 are good, but sound more like a typical comeback album type of tracks. In other words, decent, but not capturing the glory of the old days as well as the first three. The final song is a bit out of place sounding, being quite mellow and relaxed. I suppose they did have a few mellow songs in the old days, but this sounds nothing like any of them. Still, a decent track and a nice way to end the album softly (perhaps a reflection of themselves mellowing in old age?).

The second CD is interesting, but is a bit much to get through in one listen. It is not something you pay attention to and focus on. If you do, as I did, it is quite hard to get through. Still, fun to hear the improvs and just how ferocious a group of old geezers can get! Maybe not, again, quite to the standard of the early incarnation, but certainly more than most young groups now can manage. Probably not a disc for repeated plays, but worth hearing once or twice, preferably in small doses.

Overall, it is amazing that any band could come back after so many years, particularly one of this this type of angst ridden power, and pull off even one song that is comparable to the best of their earlier work. Let alone 3! A job very well done. On the whole, I'd be inclined to give this 3 stars, mainly because of the second CD. But because I've always loved this band, and because CD 1 is such a stunning comeback album, I'll go ahead and bump it up to 4 stars. Long live the mighty Van der Graaf Generator!! :-)

| 4/5 |


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