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Steve Hackett - Cured CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

2.43 | 320 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Having acquired Mr Hackett's recently released album, 'Beyond The Shrouded Horizon', and what a difficult journey I've had connecting with it, it dawned on me just how patchy Steve's solo career has been - I've decided to give this old record from 1981 another spin. This one is, in part, a POP album, with just enough prog flourishes to raise it to a marginal level of appreciation. The album's main negatives are the lack of a drummer and Steve's whimpy vocals, but for a work with only himself and keyboard whizz Nick Magnus (who has a superb list of equipment, by the way), the result isn't as bad as some may have you believe. Minor contributions on sax and flute from Bimbo Acock (glad that's not my name...) and Steve's brother, John, respectively. Opening with a vocal passage which reflects a somewhat KANSAS-ish vocal idea (Wayward Son), 'Hope I Don't Wake' is average fare pop, followed by the middle-of-the-road 'Picture Postcard', which is pleasant and brings to my mind CAMEL's 'Single Factor' period. Up next, the longest cut at under 6 mins (whoa, epic...), 'Can't Let Go' starts out superbly, ominous Novatron strings backed with an odd rhythm (something like Jacob's Ladder by RUSH), launching into some symphonic keys, but when the vocal arrives it turns commercial sounding. Nice bass (by Hackett) and the clavinet is also tastefully played. The guitar is crying out on the intro to 'The Air Conditioned Nightmare', obviously the finest track on the album. Icy keyboard arrangements and a heavy beat make this one a real winner. Awesome guitar and mini-moog soloing. A great instrumental, start to finish. More adult-contemporary pop with the up-beat, polysynth driven 'Funny Feeling', which leaves me with anything but....... Wait a minute, the middle break offers a few bars of complexity, but it's not enough to save this one from being somewhat mediocre. 'A Cradle of Swans' is a typical Hackett classical guitar solo, showing what direction he'll take on up and coming albums. It recalls his playing in 'Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers' from the wonderful 'Wind and Wuthering' album by GENESIS - no bad thing. 'Overnight Sleeper' opens out dramatically, and features some jolting odd rhythms, folky interjections and is another strong composition. The album finishes off with a mellow ballad, 'Turn Back Time', again very pleasant, but nothing too special. Seems like Steve has been soaking up too much Acapulco (or Rio...) sunshine and soaking in too many Pina Coladas to put more thought into this offering. Barely 3 stars, but revisiting this wasn't a bad 30-odd minutes - its brevity is appreciated.
Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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