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Steve Hackett - Wild Orchids CD (album) cover

WILD ORCHIDS

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 244 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EMinkovitch
5 stars Looks like it's a real winner. I think it's one of his finest, and the reason for that is all that classical experience. It has opened up "The Well At The World's End" if you know what I mean. This album is not really classical, the string section is tightly woven into the fabric of the music, and is not merely used as a background or for effect. There is only one truly classical instrumental "She Moves In Memories", and it's a real gem or structure and subtlety. Other pieces are more rock oriented, and are very diverse. it's a real smorgasbord of genres, but unified in their diversity. The strongest songs are the ballads "Set Your Compass" and "To A Close", which are just so beautifully crafted, makes you think of "Trick Of The Tail". Other highlights are "The Funamentals Of Brainwashing/Howl" a 7+ minute mini-epic which is as solid a anything Steve has ever done; then there is the monstrous and nightmarish "Down Street" with its shifting meters and atmospheres and a fantastic use of orchestra in the second half; the stunning Indian "Waters Of The Wild", the most un-Hackett-like piece, which when you listen to it carefully reveals the most Hacket-like themes; "A Girl Called Linda", a very tender Beatles- like song that tends to make me very nostalgic, and ends beautifully in an acoustic jazz improvization. The surprise is the opener, which is somewhat speed-metal like (as in Malmsteen or Savatage), but works well as a Hackett piece. Overall a very impressive effort, and no bad tracks at all. I don't think this album is quite as good as "To Watch The Storms", but it's very close, which is saying a lot, because the latter is a real masterpiece. I cannot really give it a five, but four and a haft - so I am giving it a 5 :).
EMinkovitch | 5/5 |

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