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Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited II CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.86 | 468 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1 stars "Poor. Only for completionists" seems to sum this album just about right. It's been roughly ten years since I first stumbled upon Genesis and fell in love with it's 70's output both with and without Gabriel. As many people here on Prog Archives can probably relate, I quickly went off and looked up most the members discography outside of Genesis, only to discover that with the exception of Gabriel, most the members have barely an albums worth of solid material. Hackett, in particular, seems to have spent the bulk of his "solo" career idolizing his work with Genesis as opposed to advancing himself as an artist in his own right. And that brings us to "Genesis Revisited: II."

I don't often review on this site, rather just sit in the back and watch the discussion without participating, but when it comes to this album, and the praise it seems to be getting, I can't help but voice my disgust with this purely on an idealistic album. It makes sense, though, that on a website in dedication to a genre of music that an album that goes to great lengths to recreate some of the most subtle intricacies of one of the genre's most cherished artists catalog, it would receive such high praise. However, this behemoth double disc LP that took nearly half an a year to complete does not contain a single iota of artistic integrity.

This album, rather, is simply karaoke. Steve Hackett has assembled some of the biggest vocalists he could in the prog sphere (Wilson, Akerfeldt), and some not in the prog sphere (Kershaw) to lay their vocals over carbon copies of the original material. The only parts that have been edited are Hackett's own, which are far too slight to have added to the legacy of the original material. The only other edits are slight and contrived in nature, such as adding an acoustic performance of Green Sleeves in front of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" (oh, and guess what instrument they used to introduce "the musical box?").

So that begs the question "why?" Why would Hackett go through such great lengths to put out something of such little artistic value. Here are a few possible answers: the first, that he genuinely loves the material, which seems likely as for the past thirty years at least half of his live sets have been old Genesis songs, and would just like to hear them with fresh production. The second, to remedy the debacle of his first Genesis Revisited album that was panned by fans and critics in the prog sphere as taking too many liberties with the original songs that detracted from them and disappointed most who listened to it. And the third, simply for the coin, as it is expensive to tour, and there is a resurgence of prog fans out there who would pay to hear a redone version of the songs. A fourth possible reason could simply be that Hackett doesn't quite have enough solo material for a new album, but he wants to release something to keep himself busy and keep his name out there. The answer probably is a combination of each of these reasons, and it seems to be working out for him. The album sold well, people seem to enjoy it, and he's planning on touring starting in the spring of next year.

But for someone like me, who always thought that Hackett's career left something to be desired, this feels like a sellout, like a giving up of sorts. Hackett's perpetual re-assertion that the collective work of Genesis was unmatched seems to be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, that he can never create something nearly as excellent as those half a dozen CD's he participated on in the 70's. And here, once more, he again re-visits the work of his youth with even less ambition and integrity crystallizing his complacency. For completionists only.

Floydian42 | 1/5 |


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