Peter Hammill: Skin

Only English version this time

An essential addition to any PH collection. One of my favourites. Seven nice songs in the 3-4 min. range. „After the Show” (about the loneliness of actors) and „Shell” (the mood of walking alone on the beach) are the best here. Very relaxed, very good lyrics, perfectly instrumented.

The highlight of this album and one of the highlights of PH overall is the eighth song, the epic „Now Lover”. „Now Lover” has three parts. Part 1 gives a first sight into the topic which Peter is on to here. In the calm part 2 Peter sings with an undescribable soft, still strong, yearning and longing voice. David Jackson plays and mourns around Peter’s voice with his saxes. Part 3 has the way of a hymn with thrilling rock rhythms. Synthesizers and for the first time computer manipulations are extensively used. In this part Peter’s voice sounds powerful, passionate and in a deliberate way exhausted. One of the most impressing vocal parts of all his albums. The sound collage at the end of this song reminds to musical experiments of the German artist Kurt Schwitters.

„Now Lover” is still breathtaking, fresh, exciting and touching after 20 years [in 2005]. It is perfectly instrumented. Hugh Banton does one of his best jobs on the cello.

The topic of this song are certain modern theories of biology and neuro-psychology (Peter Hammill recurs often to these sciences) stating that the human consciousness is always a split second behind the event. So the conjecture is that all action takes place without or before the mind can control it. We only think we control.

„In the here and now....
Between sensation at the nerve-ends
and arrival of information at the cortex
time elapses.
So, you see, each time we touch
we did so in the past.”

And the other topic is—sex!

No other song I know by any artist comes close to these lines and these expressions. A hymn to sex and emotion.

„Cracked, forgotten statues, we are
strangled in the undergrowth;
lying on the mattress
of the magic and the wonderful,
nothing really matters as we're
sucked in by the undertow....
We are Motion, we are Feeling, we are Now!
Now come on, come on, lover,
slicing through time in a perfect curve,
due for a moment of energy...
somehow we'll get what we most deserve
in the here and now.
Melt in the crucible, flesh and blood
bodies consumed by the catalyst,
surrender to nothing,
welcome the flood of the here and now.”

Just listen, play it loud, get sucked in, and—do it!

Peter Eisenburger, 23th June 2005


Hochgeladen am 24. Juli 2021. Zuletzt aktualisiert am 7. August 2023.