Van der Graaf Generator

Still Life

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VDGG's second step on the mid-'70s comeback trail saw Peter Hammill attempting to meld the introspective and the cosmic throughout, though this did not stop him from taking a dead run at a grandiose concept or two -- the consequences of immortality on the title track, and the grand fate of humanity on the epic "Childlike Faith in Childhood's End." The theme of humane cooperation informs the opening "Pilgrims," while "La Rossa" is an epic tale of desire fulfilled (a story that would be concluded on Hammill's solo album, Over). The true highlight, however, is the beautiful, pensive "My Room (Waiting for Wonderland)," with its echoes of imagination and loss. Hammill did not achieve such a level of painful beauty again until "This Side of the Looking Glass" on Over.

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