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Peter Hammill - Consequences CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.61 | 88 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I almost lost hope in PH as a powerful studio artist, not because of his playing or his singing, which I absolutely love, but of his production and questionable instrument tone choices: from Skin up until Thin Air there is no denial that the material has always been at least decent, but as good as some songs like "Our Oyster", "Time To Burn" and "Undone" where, I could never properly listen to them because they were always plagued by cheesy keyboards and things like that. It got to such a desperate point that, when Consequences was announced I cheered because of the new material but lost some interest fearing something like the sterility of And As Close As This or the murkyness of Incoherence, a big mistake because this record is the best sounding studio release of the man since Sitting Targets.

That alone wouldn't be worth four starts (and a half), so Mr. Hammill also gives us a lot to of goodies to concentrate on. A mere look at the song titles betrays that some of the themes here deal with communication, specially of the verbal one, yet don't think this is Incoherence Part II or that there is an equivalent of "Losing Faith In Words", this time the themes are more varied, perhaps with even more drive and distortion than anything to be found in the aforementioned exponents.

Beginning with the strangely welcoming "Eat My Words, Bite My Tongue", Peter Hammill begins to thread through some awkward, and even scary situations involving misinterpretation, lack of care with reservation and plain bad timing, amongst other things some of us may have felt every now and then. And yet, the other songs also deal with themes such as confidence, trust and desperation, where songs such as "A Run Of Luck", for example, get painfully haunting and personal...

...And that's exactly what the production here does: Hammill's voice is in such a forefront position that he seems to be singing close to you but never gets as overbearing as to shadow the actual music, which in turn is polished but not overproduced, sparce in arrangement but not hollow. The dreaded fake Yamaha Rhodes piano from Incoherence makes it's appearance again, this time, however, so muted that it's hardly a concern.

In my opinion, Consequences is a great accomplishment, which both material and production as good as his records from the late 70s like The Future Now, pH7 and A Black Box. Not as classic perhaps because Hammill hardly reinvented himself here (apart from the addition of a mean tambourine every now, which is a new thing in his music), but equally brilliant.

JackFloyd | 4/5 |


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