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Steve Hackett - Cured  CD (album) cover

CURED

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

2.38 | 202 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Intended to bring home the bacon

Steve completes his migration from prog guitarist extraordinaire to wannabe pop hero with this collection. Even if we set aside the miserly 33 minute running time, there is little here in terms of musical quality to get excited about.

The first three tracks are little more than lightweight pop songs with basic structures and little instrumentation. With Hackett performing virtually the entire album himself, the vocals are at best adequate, but hardly of sufficiently quality to dominate such a lyrically intensive set. "Picture postcard" does at least have a sax break played by Bimbo Acock, but that really is about it as far as these tracks are concerned. Side one closes with the instrumental "The air-conditioned nightmare" where Steve at least offers some hints of what he does best, but the track is cut short just as it is becoming interesting.

Side two of the album is slightly better. Skipping over "Funny feeling" (another pop song), "A cradle of swans" is a delicate acoustic guitar solo along the lines of the first part of "Blood on the rooftops". "Overnight sleeper" actually sets off sounding a bit like a Rick Wakeman keyboards exercise, the rhythm and sound reflecting that of a speeding (night) train. Hackett switches between guitars as the track develops, but unfortunately also chooses to sing. Had the track remained an instrumental, with the added bonus of some fine flute by brother John, it would have been significantly better. The album closes with the delicate, "Harlequin" like "Turn back time", an inoffensive but unimpressive song.

It seems Steve had decided to abandon his prog roots in search of commercial success here. What he seemed to overlook was that to pursue commercial (pop) success, you have to have some strong material in terms of hooks and melodies. Also, you still have to offer value for money.

The sleeve includes a touching dedication to his girlfriend Kim Poor, but to blame her for this disappointing set would be too convenient.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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