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Steve Hackett - Wild Orchids CD (album) cover

WILD ORCHIDS

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 232 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Remarkable how many good guitarists their names start with an 'H': Howe, Hillage, Holdsworth, Hendrix, Harrison, Holly .. and of course Hackett, my favorite one. I have never seen Genesis live but Hackett became a more than decent substitute when The Phil Collins Trio left symphonic prog to make prog pop. I was there when Hackett visited Holland for the first time in 1979 and remember vividly how enthousisatic he was received and how great his performance was! Since then I have seen Hackett solo many times on stage and last year I was carried away when he played Firth Of Fifth. But I also noticed how fresh, inspired and creative Steve Hackett and his band sounded, this is also the case on the new album entitled Wild Orchids. And remarkable that it has the best rating (4.50) of all Hackett solo albums!

The opener Transylvanian Express is one of the best compositions he has ever made, what a compelling sound: a bombastic first part featuring fiery guitar and captivating classical orchestrations, then great guitar overdubs and a fine contrast between first the biting electric guitar and then the warm classical guitar. The next song Waters Of The Wild is also very strong: a catchy rhythm with propulsive percussion, the intricate sound of the electric sitar and a bit wailing vocals. At some moments the atmosphere reminds me of the track Kashmir by Led Zeppelin because of the Eastern climate. The other 15 songs (I own the special edition with 72 minutes and 17 tracks) sound varied, it's typically Hackett to switch so easily from dreamy and romantic (sometimes a bit too smooth for me) to heavy and bombastic. My other highlights: moving bombastic with biting wah- wah and floods of Hammond organ in Ego And Id (Freud rules!), first mellow featuring beautiful classical orchestrations, then a powerful break with propulsive percussion and an Eastern atmosphere in Cedars Of Lebanon, a tight and sweeping rhythm with howling guitar and subtle interplay between guitar and piano in Howl and finally virtuosic classical guitar in Until The Last Butterfly (Hackett says in the booklet "the nylon has the last word").

On this CD Steve Hackett has prooved to belong to the top of the prog with his very distinctive, often exciting electric guitar sound and varied and creative writing skills. A future classic and now we wait for the Wild Orchids tour!!

erik neuteboom | 4/5 |

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