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Van Der Graaf Generator - The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.07 | 1011 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars The pieces for a very good album are all here, but there's a lack of cohesion between instruments, theme and vocals that hurts the album. Peter Hammill is a good songwriter-what he lacks in subtlety he makes up for with captivating imagery- and an interesting singer with a definitively unique voice. The problem is that he sounds like he should be singing with a different band 2/3rds out of the time. VDGG's Canterbury leanings are still evident on this album and the relatively down-tempo, freeform jazz influences don't mesh with the intensity of Hammill's lyrics or vocals. It's tough to buy into a song focused entirely on apocalyptic imagery when the rest of the band sounds like they composed the piece while smoking a blunt and listening to Miles Davis.

It's no surprise, with that in mind, that the softest parts of the album work best-Peter Hammill proves to be a more versatile as a vocalist than the rest of the band are at their respective instruments and thus the band's chilled out tendencies don't feel out of place on songs like "Out of my Book" and the album's standout track, "Refugees". It's only at these points where the band feels like they're playing as a functioning unit and can produce memorable music.

"The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other" is an album that is pulled in one direction by Peter Hammill and another by the rest of the group, and the result produces a very confused, disjointed work. It's a tough album to recommend to anyone who isn't already into prog, and even at that, I get the feeling this isn't the one to win somebody over to Van Der Graaf Generator. A disappointing album that could have been far better with a bit more focus.

40footwolf | 2/5 |


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