Dare I use the word 'mellow' here? Perhaps not. But, in relative terms, 'Still Life' is softer than VDGG's early material, especially 'Pawn Hearts'. By comparison with other established rock bands circa 1976, however, VDGG were still mining a deep seam. 'Pilgrims' is a fine opening track, lengthy and deftly-structured, like all the tracks here. From the beginning, though, the melodies and textures are noticeably gentler than on their uncompromising early work. It's the same story right across the album, though 'La Rossa' makes you sit up a bit more. The simple opening repeated sax riff on 'My Room' is, however, the kind of hook they didn't used to trade in. Even Peter Hammill's man-in-a-crisis vocal tone seems lighter. The inclusion of the live 'Gog' only highlights the change. 'Still Life' isn't, in my opinion, what made VDGG great, but it is, on its own terms, still a fine album.