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Van Der Graaf Generator - Present CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.61 | 497 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "Present" is Van der Graaf Generator's first studio album for nearly 30 years, the band having decided to record again together following a number of impromptu performances at various functions. Unlike their last album together, 1977's "The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome", the album features the classic VDGG line-up of Peter Hammill, Guy Evans (drums), Hugh Banton (organ, bass) and David Jackson (saxes and flutes) and the soundscape returns to more traditional VDGG territory than on that 1977 album.

"Present" is not quite the double-CD that it purports to be as disc 2 is, as Hammill calls it in his sleeve notes, "a whole slew of improvisations". I've heard this disc once and will never do so again: frankly, for me, it would have been better left in the recording studio.

However, I actually think that the "album" is meant just to be the first disc and it is on that basis that I am reviewing it. Containing 6 tracks, one of them an instrumental written by David Jackson , it compares well with the body of VDGG's work from theor 70s period. There were often shades of jazz in their sound during that period and that is perhaps more prevalent here, in particular on the excellent closing number "On the Beach", but it's a style that fits in well with the band's overall sound in my opinion.

The other track that I would highlight would be "Every Bloody Emperor" - surely to take its place as one of the band's finest songs with its venomous lyrics and surging music.

Overall a very good album, not their best but a very worthwhile and welcome return from a great band.

alextorres2 | 4/5 |


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