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Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.48 | 1999 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars PAWN HEARTS was my very first taste of Van der Graaf Generator; let's just say that album gave me more than my share of hissy fits trying to understand it. Eventually, the lyrics kind of guided me into how the music works. So here on GODBLUFF, I'm met with a similar predicament in a sense that Pete Hammill's lyrics are this dense poetry, lugubrious as ever with a requirement of dictionary just to understand what some of the words mean. I still don't quite get the lyrics.

So why the masterpiece rating, you ask? The music.

It didn't take as long for the music to sink in here. The one thing that impressed me here was how heavy this album is, almost hard to believe since I can't remember any instance of a guitar anywhere on GODBLUFF (though Hammill is credited with playing it). That really thick, heavy sound that comes to the fore on ''Arrow'' has to come from a keyboard instrument, not the first thing you think of when you hear the term ''heavy music''. That heaviness makes the music much more engaging to my ears.

They also kept the compositions shorter here than on PAWN HEARTS, meaning that there isn't a whole lot of room to wander around. They try to wander on ''The Undercover Man'', but it's not for long and the band gets back into focus. All pieces have engaging bits layered with Hammond and saxophone, two instruments that will make any progster sleep better tonight, all under Guy Evans's subtle yet ferocious drum work.

Don't let the bland cover lead you to believe it's filled second rate horror movie music; this is the real deal, a great masterwork of prog rock. It got me back on track with Van der Graaf Generator after a year of road construction (metaphorically).

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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