Thursday, March 30, 2017

Peter Hammill - 1983 - Patience

Peter Hammill

01. Labour of Love (5:56)
02. Film Noir (4:22)
03. Just Good Friends (4:30)
04. Jeunesse Doree (4:51)
05. Train Time (4:27)
06. Now More Than Ever (5:40)
07. Comfortable (4:57)
08. Patient (6:16)

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitar, keyboards, producer

K Group:
- John Ellis / electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Nic Potter / bass
- Guy Evans / drums, percussion

- David Lord / Prophet 5 synth (3)
- David Jackson / saxophone & Panpipes (1,7)
- Stuart Gordon / violin (3)

When listening to Patience, the two preceding albums - excellent as they were - shrink to not much more then the groundwork for this masterpiece. This album got Hammill even a short taste of (almost) mainstream success. So I'm a bit surprised at both the number of ratings and the overall average, but well there aren't too many Hammill fans around anyway. This was one of the first Hammill albums I sought out so I'm probably a bit biased. But then, I always am :)
Labour of Love sets off with a slow pace, almost as if it's going to be a ballad, but it takes a nice twist after the first verse when the band breaks the rhythm and delivers a nice nod to the VDGG trademark sound. Film Noir is an excellent rock track, catchy but smart and intricate. It's a perfect composition that has not one note out of place. It's one of the few up-tempo tracks that Hammill has recorded and it's surely his best. Just Good Friends is a very mellow Hammill ballad, almost sugary-sweet but just right, with an understated yet vicious lyric.

Jeunesse Dorée is another astounding up-tempo track. It has a great stubborn time signature during the verses and builds up quite a tension that finds its release during the chorus. Simply perfect. And on it goes, Jeunesse Dorée and Now More Than Ever as well are among the strongest rock tracks Hammill has ever penned. Add the tight playing of the band to that and magic happens. The two closing tracks have a slightly more epic approach, Comfortable and Patience especially build towards an intense climax.

Patience is not for every prog-head, if a 4 minute song with verses and choruses doesn't sound appealing to you, you better seek your luck elsewhere. It was the last great record Hammill would release for quite a while. I'd even say we had to wait 20 years till something of equal quality came along with the album Clutch.

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