Peter Hammill

None of the Above

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Peter Hammill's music will either move you or it won't, and on None of the Above his approach and focus remain true to what he's done before. This collection of songs contains poignant musical snapshots that are often reminiscent of Scott Walker and Leonard Cohen. The vocals, often layered and echoed, capture a sadness and beauty: "Before the touch/Before the kiss/This moment just before their history begins." The music appears more times than not to be there to accentuate, like a soft touch to the ears, while in other places it creates a slight bit of alternate tension. At times a chorus of vocals (provided by his two daughters) swells up, particularly on "Naming the Rose," with a sound reminiscent of a chamber chorus meeting some misbegotten singer. In a couple of places a violin and viola make musical appearances for additional drama. Atmosphere is very important to the music that Peter Hammill creates, and at times None of the Above is filled with it, but there are also points on this release when things become a bit too monotonous. For those fond of his sounds, this is a definite addition to your collection, while those wishing to explore his work should dive into it elsewhere (for a good starting point into his later work try Everyone You Hold).

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