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Peter Hammill


As the leader of seminal (if relatively obscure) British Prog Rock band Van Der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill has always distinguished his music with dark lyrics, mercurial vocals, and intelligent songwriting. He's done a great deal in his thirty-plus years in music, from his King Crimson-esque early days to the plethora of poppy, disjointed, and highly personal music he has recorded as a solo artist. His ballads are the type of soul-cleansing exercises that leave other singer-songwriters spent, and audiences either transfixed or uncomfortable with the level of unmitigated honesty being thrust upon them. The emotional delivery of "Just Good Friends," for example, skillfully conveys a painful and unfulfilling love tryst; the song also displays Hammill's superior piano skills, as the keyboard perfectly compliments his sad story. His rich body of work is difficult without being inaccessible, and often quite dramatic. His is the soul of a complex, enigmatic, intensely gifted and honest songwriter.
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