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Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.48 | 1998 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars "Godbluff" is the last of 3 masterpieces by VDGG in my opinion. Although not being as musically advanced as its predecessor "Pawn Hearts", it has a much stronger atmosphere due to the increased spent recording (therefore, less time to write). This is probably due to Peter and the band not wanting to make a "Pawn Hearts" child, but to expand into different key areas of prog rock to broaden the range of their music - almost creating a whole new signature sound.The album undeniably is incredibly consistent, and does explore some new areas of progressive music - the saxophone solos appearing throughout, lengthy drum solos on "Arrow", and some of Peter Hammill's best moments regarding vocal delivery. Overall, just about takes 5 stars from me, because its "listenability" makes up for the absence in music. An excellent album to be introduced from symphonic bands like Yes and Genesis, into the band's discography, and other eclectic groups alike.

"Undercover Man" immediately puts you in a very intense state, with Peter's personal whisperings, reaching wonderful climaxes ("Panicking you burst for air") but otherwise not as adventurous as expected from an "eclectic prog rock" band. "Scorched Earth" is probably my favourite song on the album: brilliant melodies, instrumentalism, chemistry between the band, but more importantly willing to explore the progressive elements (especially time signatures and rhythms, plus chord progressions). "Arrow" once again includes some great little rhythms, and allows the band to stretch out for longer, as the tracks grow and grow on "Godbluff". Finally, "The Sleepwalkers" is an outstanding work up to just over half way, but I don't really think the last 4 or so minutes were entirely necessary. Otherwise includes all of the essential products of progressive music and a gorgeous drowsy interlude around the 3 minute mark contrasted by an abrupt shaken saxophone riff.

A-: Definitely a masterpiece, but could have been a lot more audacious, and could have been a timeless magnum opus.

Undercover Man: ***** Scorched Earth: ***** Arrow: **** The Sleepwalkers: ****

Xonty | 5/5 |


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