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Steve Hackett - Cured  CD (album) cover

CURED

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

2.37 | 201 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Leonardo
3 stars Steve was building a reputation as one of prog rocks elite, having already released 4 critically aclaimed albums before "Cured", his next offering came along. Whereas his previous work had been distinctly entrenched in the Progressive movement, albeit in his own distict way, this new offering was unashamedly light and pop based.

Despite being very eclectic in nature, Steve had never ventured so dramatically from his expected format before, and so it was inevitable that he would throw many of his hard core prog fans off track with this album. To make things worse, the content of this album was not as strong creativley as his previous works. He was in effect damned by his previous sucesses.

The album starts off well enough with a decent openining called "Hope I don't wake", a folk-pop number with good harmonies. The next two offerings however do not fare as well. Picture postcard was released as a single, but Steve's voice is too weak for this track, and it is too meandering a theme to have been a good single. The next track "Can't let go" takes a while to warm up, and is let down by Steve's very high singing voice that again sound too weak for the material being played.

After the dissapointment of the last 2 tracks comes the best track on the album, "the air conditioned nightmare" - one of only 3 tracks on the oringinal album that were progressive in nature. Heavy, nightmarish, and furiously fast, with an excellent string based solo. This would have graced any of Steve's previous albums.

The upturn in quality is maintained by the next track "Funny Feeling". Unashmedly pop, but what a good song! You are hooked instantly by the first few uplifting bars, and are kept hooked. A fast and breezy number with good vocals and melody by Steve. This is the sort of song you cannot get out of your head for all the right reasons, - but why was this never released as a single?

Next comes a"A Cradle of Swans" a fair sounding classical guitar instrumental, which is followed by another good prog track in "Overnight Sleeper". This is a fast paced track in which Steve's vocals work well with the fast "Chug Chug" effect of synths impersonating a train.

The original album ended with "Turn back Time" - a slow dance number to which you will either warm to, or find it too "Twee" for your taste.

3 good tracks appear on the remastered version of this album. The first was composed by Mauro Giuliani and is called "Tales of the riverbank" - a gentle classical guitar piece that will bring warm childhood memories to older British fans. This was the theme tune to a childrens TV series in the 60's!

The second is one of Steve's very best acoustic offerings - "Second Chance". The interweaving melody of Steve's guitar and brother Johns flute is enchanting. Again this was used as a theme to a TV Drama programme in the 70's or 80s.

The album ends with a rousing live recording of "Air conditioned Nightmare" from the Reading Festival, which hints at what a great live act Steve is.

Although the album is decidely weaker than his earlier works, with Steve's new found role as lead singer not always meeting with success, there are still some strong tracks that make the album worth listening to. Get the remastered version, as the extra tracks lift this album into the three star category.

Leonardo | 3/5 |

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