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Steve Hackett - Highly Strung CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

2.95 | 296 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars One thing was for sure : Steve couldn't release a weaker album than "Cured".

But "Highly Strung" is far from being a masterpiece. Actually, it is a typical album from the eighties. AOR rhythms and heavy drumming, like during "Cell 151" which also features some weak vocals. Not a great cocktail, I'm afraid. There are no big difference between this number and the poor "Genesis" production in those sad days.

Under these circumstances, the instrumental "Always Somewhere Else" is a small breeze of fresh air. It takes a while to really lift off (1'30"), but then turns into an upbeat tempo worthy of "Los Endos". But it will only be a short relief, since "Walking Through Walls" which immediately follows is just an awful disco-oriented track. The poorest of this work. Press next (or turn the vinyl).

Another disillusion is waiting for you. The AOR "Give It Away" is also difficult to bear. Same comment than for "Cell 151" and its poor vocals. But this aspect has never been Steve's strongest characteristics, right? "Weightless" just confirms this.

This album really combines the worse and the average to which "Group Therapy" belongs. More dynamic, this instrumental still features weird guitar and keyboard sounds. As if it was a live number. I am not fully convinced, but there are no other choice than hoping for some great tracks to come.

But the disappointment goes on with "India Rubber Man" : a short and very soft ballad about which there is nothing to write about.

The best two songs from this album are the opener and the closing number. The classic "Camino Royale" could have indicated a better album and shows some good signs. But to be honest, I have to say that it is not the first in the genre from Steve and the flavour of "Los Endos" is very much present at times. Even if vocals are featured here.

And the closing "Hackett To Pieces" is another pleasant instrumental featuring some good percussion work (almost ethnic).

This album is saved by three tracks. Just over twelve minutes of good music. A bit "short" for an album. Steve has not been cured yet.

Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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