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Steve Hackett - Cured CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

2.43 | 351 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Steve Hackett's fifth studio album would utlimately be his most blatantly commercial and his weakest effort in my eyes, but it isn't a worthless record. The songs, while not being progressive are, show a musician trying to find his voice (literally) as most of these songs have Hackett on vocals and in the end, the results are mixed. I can't really rate this album high because for the most part, this album is very weak and pales in comparison to his past albums and even some of his future albums. In the end, it's not so much a bad record as much as it is a disappointment to Hackett fans.

From the opener of Hope I Don't Wake to the closing seconds of Turn Back Time, the great moments on this album are few and far between. Hope I Don't Wake has a terribly simplistic riff and structure, with no real invention in the vocal harmonies and the instrumentation, which doesn't show Hackett's true talents in the slightest bit. Picture Postcard, despite having some interesting bass lines and some interesting arpeggios doesn't really evolve at all and has some weak vocals from Hackett (who didn't really bloom as a vocalist until later in his career). It's much better represented live in the 70s, 80s, 90s box set in my opinion, with some great reinvention on the drums on guitar, but here it's nothing terribly special.

Can't Let Go brings some hope onto this album, with a nice ethereal keyboard opening and an interesting drum line and guitar solo, but the vocals on this track are once again less than superb. Still, it helps get this album totally out of the dumps. The Air Conditioned Nightmare also helps bring this album out of the ashes, with it's forboding synthesizers and magnificent floating guitar lines, as well as some great interplay between the keyboards and guitar. It's probably the best song on the album, in my opinion. Funny Feeling has this undeniable disco vibe to it, but the main guitar theme isn't all that bad, as well as some somewhat acceptable vocals, despite the overly pop nature of them. Some hints of Hackett's past can be heard in the guitar of the track, but it's not really enough to save it.

A Cradle of Swans is the acoustic piece of the album, and as always is an entertaining piece that displays Hackett's wonderful acoustic skills. Overnight Sleeper begins with some complex acoustic work from Hackett, but quickly becomes a synthesizer based piece with a riff slightly resembling the Dancing With the Moonlit Knight. It's one of the better tracks on the album, with some more incredible soloing from Hackett and some interesting flutes from John Hackett, as well as some shifting time signatures in the middle sections. Turn Back Time ends the album much like Hope I Don't Wake, only this time the track has a more defined AOR feel to it. There are some unique harmony vocals and some interesting keyboards from Nick Magnus, but other than that, nothing very special at all.

In the end, Hackett's Cured is a sore spot on an otherwise stellar career. The album isn't terrible, but it truly is a disappointment from this artist that has such high musical and artistic merits. If you like pop, though, you may find something to like about this album. Me? It's ok in my opinion, but nothing to reall write home about. 2/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 2/5 |


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