Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night
Genres: Pop, Rock
ARE YOU YOUNG?
Kerry Leimer | Makawao, Hawaii United States | 06/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With its sense of alienation, overiding regret, and feelings of isolation in a world made strange by behavior, hunger, drugs and an overwhelming need to comprehend one's own existence, Hammill delivers some of the bleakest, starkest and disturbing realizations to ever be recorded. Perfect music for your late teens and early twenties, because if you get it then, you can keep this music in mind for the rest of your life. Forget the middle-class whining of most of the angry young men on MTV today, offering nothing more than some huge, distorted major chords, which by their nature deliver a complete disconnect with the wailing and impassioned vocals so desperately in need of at least one significant lyric. Instead, listen to Hammill's ability to transform the immediate impressions of life into long-lasting markers, reference points for a moral and spiritual compass in a world that seems to value neither. On Chameleon, he accomplishes this with only an acoustic guitar and piano, only occassionally accompanied by the lads from Van Der Graaf. And of course, by his writing and his voice. I think on the original vinyl release, instead of his typical "vox" credit, he phrased the singing credit as "tesseraschizoid warbling" or some such thing. Let's just say the singing is tough to classify. And the lyrics alternately illuminate and then conceal, demanding the listener to look to his or her own experience in acheiving some semblance of understanding. Out of all this, and all these years, one thing is certain. The pain is real. And so, gratefully, is the redemption."
The odd couple
saserfrac | Ventura, Ca United States | 10/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never had an experience with an album to the oddity i've had with this one. When i first heard this album, (with only Pawn Hearts to prepare me for Hammill's unique vocal stylings) i literally felt sick because the music on this album was so plain to what i was expecting. And after i listened to the first couple songs i was ready to play frisbee with Chameleon in the Shadows...(CitSotN), i've always had patience with albums and giving them time to grow on me. This time it was different i felt violated that an artist would put something on the market this horrible. Ok so now you understand my first impression of the album. Now at about 8-9 listens later i consider this album to be one of the most original, artistically expressive works i've ever came across. And i'm not just speaking for CitSotN, Hammill's works as a whole are diamonds that few people know about, and i'm guessing few people will want to digest. I can't say for certain that anyone will come to love Peter Hammill, personally i find his works to be beautifully expressive, sincere, musically it's very raw and plain (many songs consist of only voice and guitar or voice and piano) but it's a quality that i appreciate most, and can be compared to John Lennon's "Imagine" that showed the world simple pop music can butt heads with some of the greatest classical compositions.. good art is good art no matter how easy it was made."
Undoubtedly the Jimi-Hendrix of the Voice
saserfrac | 10/07/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was Peter Hammill's second solo album and first after the demise of Van der Graaf Generator in 1972. The recording contains performances from all members of Van der Graaf as it appears that some of the songs were intended for use by the band. The album contains a variety of excellent music; psychedelic (German Overalls), folk (What's it Worth), ballad (Easy to Slip Away) and one of the darkest progressive rock tunes ever written (In the) Black Room. Very sinister, indeed. Lyrically, Hammill is extremely introspective. These lyrics are generally bleak, however the album ends (somewhat) positively with the final verses of Black Room, although Hammill admits that there are still choices ahead of him. Great lyrics, great songwriting and one of the most impassioned vocalists in Rock Music."