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


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.29 | 1527 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hard to follow up the mammoth GODBLUFF album, but Pete Hammill and co. were more than willing to try with STILL LIFE. VdGG still goes after the heavy keyboard assault here, but this happens in fewer moments and only the Hammond organ is involved, one of the more overused instruments in prog rock. Actually, there are more quiet, softer moments (Oh, no!) here than there were on the last album. Seeing that I'm more of a fan of punchier moments, this doesn't sit well with me.

It's a rather weird, amusing side of VdGG we're seeing here, even if this is one of their better efforts. However, I don't consider ''My Room'' a VdGG highlight; it's a soft jazz track that, while not bad or unnecessary, doesn't really do anything. Much of the same goes for the first two tracks, although fans will appreciate the traditional perks. Heck, Hammill is vocally at his peak here and ''Pilgrims'' is quite memorable.

''Childlike Faith'' is the big epic on the album, and it's one of the better tracks. The best part is when the piece reaches this cathartic climax with Hammill singing in a rather scratchy tone, and then the song ends with him gasping. However, the best piece here might be the best VdGG track overall, and I'm speaking of ''La Rossa''. It carries that overt heaviness from GODBLUFF and mixes it with an ever-building middle. My only complaint is that the song dawdles for forty seconds longer than needed.

GODBLUFF holds a more favourable opinion with me because that album revitalised my interest in Pete Hammill's world. STILL LIFE is a continuation of GODBLUFF; in my mind, it's not nearly as good, but it's still a very good album that can stand up on its own, barring the soft spots.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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