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Steve Hackett - To Watch The Storms CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 389 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Well it seems that Hackett's career is actually enjoying an upwards swing from the pendulum as he regularly tours and records many projects since the release of the good Darktown in 99. Indeed, Steve seems to have another relatively stable group on which to rely to, even if Brother John and Roger King have been around for a while.

As usual, a good review of one of Hackett's album is relatively difficult, because of the wide spectrum of his music: the least we can say is that variety is not one of Steve's angst, which we can actually applaud aesthetically speaking. However this makes always a rather uneasy listening to an uneven album. Steve's most "advanced" musical ideas include to highly synthesised music with some of his old tricks such as vocoders (Devil Is An Englishmen or the rather poor Come away), but also make him sound like some new wave artist some 35 years later. However one must recognize that this album holds at least one or two instant classic and concert crowd pleasers such as Mechanical Bride (which brings us back to the Defector/Mornings days and involves hard Crimson, some Univers Zero ideas), Brand New (actually I'm not a real fan of this one as it filled with vocoder vocals again), Rebecca (actually quite an enjoyable surprise) and its follow-up Silk Road, which is a real improvised pot pourri from the whole planet.

Other tracks are leading us to his past works (Wind, Sands and Moon Under Water both sound taken from Bay Of Kings), while the opening Strutton Ground rings to our ears as déjà-entendu, and ditto for Serpentine's Song, which seems to come from ease Don't Touch album.

I can't help thinking that Hackett's music could also easily be released by the ECM label, which of course is a high compliment. As good as such a later Hackett album can be, I'm a little afraid it will never have the emotional charge that his early style-defining four albums will ever have, but for an old proghead, this is about as close as it's going to get.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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