Peter Hammill



by easycrosswords USER (1 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2015 | 3 replies

Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Overall a good album, 'Over' contains themes of a more personal nature than usually seen from Peter Hammill, and includes multiple strong tracks, including the masterpiece 'Time Heals.'

*Over* signifies an interesting point in Peter Hammill's solo career. With his previous release, *Nadir's Big Chance*, Hammill began to depart from his progressive rock roots, and enter some uncharted territory. While *Over* is neither as acclaimed or influential as *Nadir's Big Chance*, Hammill seems to further distance himself from the prog of his past, though that's not to say that this album is completely devoid of any progressive elements. This album is post of what many would consider to be the classic Hammill/VdGG era, in which Hammill ceases to be consistently great, and settles into settles into prolific period of releasing consistently good albums-- with an occasional moment of brilliance.

As well as being a musical departure for Hammill, *Over* also introduces new themes into his music. Gone are the psychologically chilling lyrics, and paranoia inducing exclamations from the era of *Godbluff* and *The Silent Corner and Empty Stage,* here, Hammill introduces some much more personal themes of love and past relationships. As one would expect, these more delicate themes do not go well with the same searing organ sound that accompanied the often sinister lyrics of Hammill's past, as such, they have been replaced with more dainty orchestral arrangements, which, while I can't find a particular fault in them, seem to be rather forgettable.

The album begins with 'Crying Wolf,' a strong opener, which has more of rock sound than anything that comes after it. 'Autumn' is next on the list, and while good, is unspectacular, and subdued sounding.

'Time Heals' is the highlight of the entire album, and tells the story of Hammill falling madly in love-- with a woman already in a relationship. The song begins with a quiet brooding verse; the introduction of Hammill to the love interest of this album, before giving way to a verse that occupies the middle ground of its previous, and former. With the third, the song really picks up-- "Into the play - what a production!" Hammill exclaims, more loudly than before, and with an interesting vocal effect he will continue to use throughout the album. Occupying the middle of the song is a wonderfully upbeat sounding, piano driven section that provides tantalizing clues that this woman (maybe Alice from later?) just might leave her partner to be with Hammill. This hope continues throughout the next verse, which musically, has much in common with the third. In the following verse, seemingly sung from a retrospective position, it seems that this promising love story was never to be, "we came so close to wrecking all our lives," Hammill sings, as if it was for the better that they never had been together. Though after the culmination of the amazing and slowly building harpsichord section, it is evident that Hammill is not confident in that sentiment. Though I would never consider *Over* to be one of Peter Hammil's strongest solo albums, 'Time Heals' may be my favorite of any of his individual tracks. I just cannot get over the lyrical perfection, and the way that Hammill lowers his inflection when interjecting conjunctions at the end of a line to connect it to the next is simply perfect. Not only would 'Time Heals' be at home among the tracks of any classic era Hammill or VdGG album, but just as it does on 'Over,' it would overshadow them.

Following 'Time Heals,' the quality seems to decrease (though I can't imagine anything that wouldn't provide this effect, when following 'Time Heals'). 'Alice (Letting Go)' and 'This Side of the Looking Glass' complement each other very well, and though they both ere a bit to the sappy side, they are both good tracks, and seem to continue the tale that began in 'Time Heals'. 'Betrayed' and '(On Tuesdays She Used To Do) Yoga' are two of the more forgettable tracks on this album, and while more angsty than the prior two, really just don't do anything for me. 'Lost and Found' has a strong electric guitar presence and is a very good closing track. Though it opens in a similar vein to the previous few, it quickly picks up, and with the introduction of the electric guitar and more aggressive sound, serves as great way to tie together the musical, and lyrical themes presented throughout the album

user ratings (44)

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November 22nd 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Time Heals is such a great song, clearly the best here, agreed. Both Betrayed and especially Yoga are my least favorite, but they're still listenable. I might bump it up to a 4.5, thanks to Time Heals alone.

Good first review. Pos'd.

November 23rd 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

yeah good review. I remember hearing this album at late hours of the night and thinking it was the greatest thing ever. Not quite, but "Time Heals" does make it through my prog playlists quite a lot. "Lost and Found" and "Autumn are also very good.

February 24th 2017


Album Rating: 4.5

This is really good people

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