Peter Hammill — Singularity
(Fie! 9131, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01Peter Hammill’s hardened stare adorns the cover of the songwriter’s current recording from his home studio in Wilts, UK. If fans needed any reminder, the singer’s stance has always included serious performance and wordplay that pushes you to familiar and unsettling space. The disc opens with an honest self-deprecating statement “Our Eyes Give It Shape” visiting the recent life-threatening events than nearly took his life. Hammill continues to visit familial topics with “Meanwhile My Mother,” comparable to more recent songs such as “Since the Kids” or even “Autumn” from Over. The songwriter’s best deliveries come on “Naked to the Flame” and “Vainglorious Boy.” The former piece captures the essence of the artist’s best acoustic guitar driven pieces where lyric and delivery mesh easily. The latter track imparts a scathing thread where the singer calls out a media loving-sycophant labeling him a dipshit – a songwriting first! Up next, the slight improv piece, “Of Wood, of Wire” leads into “Friday Afternoon” about an ill-fated date with destiny. Hammill’s distorted guitar playing graces many of the tracks adding a purposeful weight to the entire set of recordings. Closing out the disc is “White Dot” that bears down on the listener with intensity reminiscent of classic pieces like “Faculty X” or “Energy Vampires,” but the subject matter is more persistently uncertain. Overall there are so few artists consistently rewarding given the common pratfalls and grand derailments akin to rock and roll.
Related artist(s): Peter Hammill
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more