Exposé Online banner

Peter Hammill — X My Heart
(Fie! 9111, 1996, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1996-08-01

X My Heart Cover art

Here's another work in the "difficult artiste" series from prolific songwriter Peter Hammill. How many releases does this make for him? Over 20, not including compilations? He has consistently displayed high-quality work since 1968 including several experimental projects. Recorded last year at home, this new set of songs is not another exampe of a snobby, sophisticated attitude. Hammill's vocal delivery has always been a bit like channeling a spirit during a seance, influenced in part by dramatic stage presentation. The songwriting itself has, again, a profound, ponderous weight for your average pop song that challenges you into conscious active listening. Themes addressed reflect on life in specific (as Peter perceives it), love triangles and relationships, deception, and materiality. Personnel on the disc include Van der Graaf alumnus Dave Jackson on flute and saxes; Stuart Gordon on strings; and Manny Elias (ex-Tears for Fears) on drums. Hammill himself handles guitars, keyboards, and bass (Nic Potter MIA). A track of discernible interest is "A Better Time," which is a pretty positive statement on why "I'll never find a better time to be alive than now." The piece has two versions: a multi-tracked, monastery-choir-like arrangement performed a capella and a more standard accompaniment. "Amnesiac" is a song seemingly about forgetting important points of communication in a relationship that features a fragile violin and wood flute accompaniment. There is nothing too sinister this time out from Hammill: has he finally turned the edge on that level of intensity he excels at? I believe he continues to mature as an artist in much the same fashion as Charisma label mate Peter Gabriel. In his middle age, Hammill continues to mature as a wise, reflective artist with key perspectives, wit and depth, but he is still a talent much in need of wider appreciation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Hammill, David Jackson

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Big Brother & the Holding Company - Live in San Francisco, 1966 – Live in San Francisco 1966 is an early recording by the band, from July 28th, only about six weeks after Janis joined the band. The fourteen songs presented here are loaded with energy, great playing...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues