Against the grain: Most enduring VDGG album
Let S Listen | TN | 03/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The consensus among Hamillites appears to be that "World Record" is not as strong as previous albums, with some considering "Pawn Hearts" their pinnacle. For readers interested in VDGG and planning their purchases: Don't be fooled. While all VDGG albums are worthwhile for the initiated, "World Record" offers something others don't have. I am referring to its somewhat detached and loose feel that, in the end, makes the album an enjoyable listening experience for multiple occasions. The lyrics are also especially strong, containing memorable lines throughout the album. They don't have the "self-indulgentness" of other albums, while retaining the personal and intimate traits Hammill is known for.
Hammill and VDGG typically come up with great song intros. The intro of "Undercover Man" from the "Godbluff" comes to mind immediately. Its quiet atmosphere sets the tone right from the start. The intro of "When She Comes" (first notes of WR) holds it's own quite well, however, and the song doesn't let up for one moment. "A Place to Survive" and "Masks" complete the trilogy, the first with the affecting line "Stand straight, looking over your shoulder." These are among the best songs VDGG has recorded. Most fans do not appreciate the loose jam-like feel of "Meurglys III". They're comparing it to the epic "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" from "Pawn Hearts." However, "Meurglys III" expresses feelings from a songwriter who had moved on at the time of recording and was ready to do something new. Looking back, and this holds for "Word Record" as a whole, the music sounds less dated. I find Hammill's guitar playing on "MIII" interesting and relaxing and agree with another review that the reggea beat towards the end is appropriate and enjoyable. There isn't really anything like it in the VDGG canon.
There is nothing to take away from the enjoyment from other VDGG albums, but don't step on "World Record", which happens to be my introdction to VDGG. Now, after a two-plus decade hiatus of not listening to them, I find the music and songs still stirring, making "World Record" once again my favorite VDGG/Hammill album [followed closely by "Godbluff"]."
Decent end to classic VdGG - 3,5 stars
Alexandre C. Machado | Rio de Janeiro, RJ BRAZIL | 09/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the last album of the classic line-up of this wonderful band. The music of this album isn't as "weird" and dark as in albums like "Pawn Hearts" or "Godbluff", but there are space for two truly gems in this CD: "Masks" and the eerie "Wondering". Together with the good "When she comes" they make the acquisition of this album worth enough.
What about the long track "Meurglys III"? It's a decent piece of music, but Evans' drums are very plain and boring (to his high patterns) and after sixteen minutes you have a long reggae jam til the end!
If you really apreciate VdGG you need to buy this album, but if you are interested only in the classics try some collection with the two tracks mentioned above."
Not so VDGG....but I like it
CPM Hagemann | the Netherlands | 01/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the only Vandergraafgenerator record I've ever owned. OK, I had some Peter Hammill stuff, and some other records on tape. But World Record was my first VDGG-experience.
I understand, that it is not VDGG at their best, because it was a bit too much VDGG-light, and then it occurred to me...I guess I don't like VDGG, but hey, I like this album, including the reggae-like ending of Meurglys.
Actually, thirty years ago I have used it as background music for a slide show.
So, if you like Peter Hammill or VDGG, but not the very avantgarde, complex stuff....you could try this one."