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Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch! CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.59 | 569 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Straight off the racks after the wondrous 'Voyage of the Acolyte' came the multi-genre spectacle of "Please Don't Touch." The entire album is 40 minutes jim-jams of consisting of several different genres from prog to blues and more. In this way it is similar to 'Voyage of the Acolyte' which also spanned multiple genres, but "Please Don't Touch" is even more experimental for Steve Hackett, not just in way of technology but also style. This was the first time to my knowledge that Steve Hackett so very adventures, more so than 'Voyage of the Acolyte.'

"Please Don't Touch" features a great array of musicians and vocalists who add an extra dimension to this album. The collaboration between Steve Hackett and other musicians is one reason why the big man is so interesting. Its like one extended band, except Steve writes most the material (like Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull I suppose.) John Hackett is one of the major contributors, just like on 'Voyage of the Acolyte', he plays a major role in this album. Also, the magnificent Steve Walsh features on vocals here too.

The album opens with "Narina" which is a happy fusion of rock and prog. The song is about the land of Narina from "The Lion, The witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S Lewis and features some top-rate acoustic guitar from Steve Hackett; the song in general is of a good quality. The man himself, Steve Walsh features on vocals here and does a fantastic job. The next song "Carry on up the Vicarage", or as I affectionately call it "mutated Christmas tune" that's basically what it is. It has a traditional stereotypical American Christmas tune and strange warped voices singing the lyrics. The instrumentation is pretty good here and it makes up for the oddity of the vocals, kind of, I can't take too seriously though.

Next up is" Racing in A" which features more vocals from Steve Walsh. The song frequently changes in mood and meter, though it is still able to retain a definite overall melody. The song is happy and Steve Walsh's voice really suites the style of instrumentation which consists mostly of guitar. The song kind of winds down towards the end so as to allow Steve Hackett a classical guitar solo, seems unnecessary to me.

Next is "Kim" (written for Steve Hackett's wife I believe) which consists of beautiful guitar and flute from Steve and John Hackett respectively. The song is very mellow and is a change from the rest of the album.

Next up is "How Can I" which is all about the vocals, not the guitar for once although the backing chords are quite loud. The song has a constant beat provided by the rhythm guitar and percussion as well as some strings which come and go but are usually there. The song is a great follow on from "kim."

"Hoping Love Will Last" comes next which could honestly be mistaken for a pop song, but the instrumentation is too good for a pop song.kind of. The string backing is used to great effect and the guitar solo towards the end of the song supports the style of vocalist very well. Overall not a bad song, though some may find it quite repelling.

The following track "Land of a Thousand Autumns" acts as a precursor for the title track "Please, Don't Touch." The tune/theme is introduces which sounds very menacing and sinister. The song is stretched by the addition of a classical guitar solo.

The Title song features next with the theme from the previous track. "Please, Don't Touch" features very strong guitar work and the song modulates from being a sinister song to being a happier one, its really odd how quickly the song is able to achieve this. It's strange that a song could sound so sinister for the statement "Please, Don't Touch."

"Voice of Necam" is next and the song begins with an eerie melody played on flute, strings and some other wind instrument. The song them moves into a section with gradually mounting tension, it then becomes evident that nothing will happen and the song ends. But suddenly, guess what happens, that's right a classical guitar solo! Not a bad song really!

Last of all is my favorite song from the album "Icarus Ascending" which begins immediately with thunderous full-band and vocals. Icarus of course is the guy in Greek mythology that flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea. The song is very good and for me it is the highlight of the album, the last minute of the song seems unnecessary though.

1. Narnia (4/5) 2. Carry On Up the Vicarage (2.5/5) 3. Racing In A (4/5) 4. Kim (3/5) 5. How Can I? (4/5) 6. Hoping Love Will Last (3/5) 7. Land of a Thousand Autumns (2.5/5) 8. Please Don't Touch (2.5/5) 9. The Voice of Necam (3/5) 10. Icarus Ascending (4/5) Total = 32.5 = 3.25 Good, but non-essential

This started off being a four star review, but when it comes down to it the stupidity of sections in "Carry On Up the Vicarage" and the monotony of "Land of a Thousand Autumns" and "Please Don't Touch" really drags the album down. Don't get me wrong everything else on the album is fantastic, up to par with 'Voyage of the Acolyte' so really if you take away the three listed song this album would be an easy 4 stars, but that's a really stupid though. I'd recommend "Please Don't Touch" to all Hackett and Genesis fans, it's really a great album!

Australian | 3/5 |


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