Exposé Online banner

Peter Hammill — Thin Air
(Fie! 9132, 2009, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2010-07-01

Thin Air Cover artPeter Hammill’s recent albums of home studio recordings always present a consistent delivery and song craft. This collection of nine pieces moves forward with a few unique tweaks and variations however. By now fans are hopelessly deadlocked into the clever word play and passionate thematic delivery that the Van der Graaf main man has made a successful cult European career. Piano-based tracks such as the opener, “The Mercy” (with its unique orchestral swells and venomous stabbing guitar leads) fit into the raw-nerve ballad category again, along with “Undone” and “The Top of the World Club,” which both explore emotional turmoil. Acoustic guitar driven pieces include “Stumbled” and “We Must Part Like This,” that sport the most unique guitar arrangement with tremolo guitar backing and a slippery slide that works well as an accompaniment. It’s great that the composer has decided to bring back his trusty axe, add a few effects, and then get a whole new backdrop to croon a melancholy tune. The real surprises on the disc are the brutal soundscape tracks such as “Wrong Way Round,” which will appeal to any Crimson fan, and the creepy “Ghosts of Planes” with its creepy refrain from which the album gets its titled. Overall it’s another fine addition to the huge body of work the singer has amassed since 1971’s Fools Mate; and what a poignant course he has traveled to arrive here.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Hammill

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Annbjørg Lien - Aliens Alive – Annbjørg Lien’s career has taken her from traditional Norwegian solo fiddling to 2000’s Baba Yaga, with its progressive and world music influences. On this live release, she and her band (a total...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues