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Steve Hackett - Defector CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.64 | 433 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
5 stars In my opinion, Hackett's best album. I'll get right into it.

The Steppes: Eerie flute intro brings us into this heavy, pounding instrumental. the guitar and flute share the main melody, while the drums steadily move forward and the deep synth tones add sinisterness. there is a point where the synth joins the guitar and flute on the lead, but it doesnt last. the echoing drums are reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's 3rd solo album. the next part is introduced by a screaming lick, and sounds more distant and otherworldly. the mellotron is essential in creating this mood. soon its back to evil, however. the ending part of the song is a nice solo from Hackett, as he seems to be crying through his guitar. the hypnotic guitar theme repeated to the end does well to end this great song. some odd sounds lead us into...

Time to Get Out: a slight pop song, but with great guitar and keyboard to make up for it. the vocals are also beautiful. the bridge is also quite epic, with the pounding drums accompanying a great keyboard theme. the La la las are a little bit corny, but I do like this song, and it doesnt take away from the album. the outro is the bridge again, with some great leads from Hackett.

Slogans is by far the darkest, heaviest track on the abum, with frenetic drumming and dark riffs from the mellotron and guitar. this song literally scares the pants off you the first time you hear it, but listening to the solo guitar part, I am blown away once more by Hackett the axe master. he is using some kind of fingertapping and harmonizing with himself on the other halves of the strings. the flute is also following him for part of it. Then the great drum break followed by some weird sounding voices, and a reprise of the main theme. the ending theme sounds like something out of a tv show or videogame involving some epic quest, and this would be the final boss music. very interesting.

Leaving: a very atmospheric track that sounds a little like Entangled, from Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail" in that it is perfect sleep music. the guitar work is perfect here, and the vocal harmonies sound on par with Yes or the Beach Boys. The whole song has a bit of a dark feel, but not nearly as much as the last song.

Two Vamps as Guests: A classical interlude, alternating slow picking with extremely fast strumming in places. it moves from minor to major, and becomes a true classical composition in this way.

Jacuzzi: Nice, bouncy instrumental, with some great flute work accompanying the guitar and keyboard. the first part stays in a major key, but when the electric takes the lead, it gets slightly off, a foreboding kind of mood. Hackett is, as usual, on top of his game with the picking, and blasts us with a few blinding runs, and then some low down roars. However, the mood changes back to light and airy to end the song. One of of my favorites.

Hammer in the Sand: Piano-based instrumental, this song is so tear-jerking it nearly kills me. the piano is masterfully played, with some great runs as well as gorgeous melody. the mellotron moves in to back it, only emphasizing the sadness expressed. However, the chord lightly and unexpectedly changes to major and the song sounds more optimistic and happy, if notes can express feelings without words. the whole song is done by Nick Magnus, and what a job he does of it, creating an instrumental all his own.

The Toast: another slow, happy song, the vocals are dreamy and seem to be singing a lullaby in a very simple melody. the guitar is simple, but again, its a nice song to sleep to. the bridge is great, with a sad melody and flute that is so perfectly placed it has to be divine intervention. then the lullaby is reprised, and the song slowly ends.

The Show: kicks up right away with the bass sounding funky and some crazy guitar sounds. the synth comes in with the main melody and its great. a good dancing song, methinks, and very catchy as well. the bridge makes it sound like what the 80s would have sounded like had the musicians in the 80s been talented. it ends with some cool guitar tones from the man himself.

Sentimental Institution: Only Steve Hackett could have put these last 4 song on the same album: a piano/mellotron instrumental, a gorgeous lullaby, an 80s pop/funk tune, and a 50s ballad. The keyboard used here is great, the singer fits the song well, with the Louis Armstrong growl perfectly fitting where necessary.

Overall, a broad range of songs, all very well done, a perfect album for the last great guitarist from the 70s to keep making good music.

The Ace Face | 5/5 |


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