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Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 850 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Steve Hackett's music has never blown me away immediately when I first hear it. His is something I find I must enjoy over time, and soon enough the melodies and progressions ingrain themselves into my memory. As with his first solo effort, I was initially unimpressed, but with additional listens, I grew to really delight in this album.

"Every Day" The upbeat opener could have been something from Genesis at the time just prior to Hackett's departure. The guitar work is simple, but inspired.

"The Virgin and the Gypsy" Hackett sits back with a twelve-string acoustic guitar in order to let the exceptional vocal melodies and the synthesizer shine. The guitar riff in the middle is vaguely reminiscent of part of "Supper's Ready," over which lovely wind instruments play.

"The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere" Hackett charms the hearer with an oriental-inspired piece on which his koto and the Mellotron play a large role. It's a short piece, but lovely for its brevity.

"Clocks- The Angel of Mons" With the sound of clocks, synthesizers and Mellotron, the most intense piece of music here begins. Hackett's leads are menacing, as is the rest of the instrumentation. A drum solo interrupts the flow of the music to give way to a final blast of sound.

"The Ballad of the Decomposing Man" In the vein of ELP, Hackett offers one silly song based on ridiculous honky-tonk piano and trivial lyrics. The second-half has some Caribbean style music, making this a really out-of-place song.

"Lost Time in Cordoba" Hackett treats listeners to a more classical piece, with a nylon-string guitar and woodwind instruments. The end of the piece has some incredibly odd fretwork.

"Tigermoth" The intensity and sinister nature of this song is second only to that of the fourth track. What sounds like some unobtrusive Vocoder business goes on just before the main theme returns. The vocals are flippant though, and don't do the ominous subject matter or prior music justice. The ending features delicate guitar work.

"Spectral Mornings" The title and final piece is a dazzling instrumental, full of washes of Mellotron and exquisite guitar work. My only complaint is that the main theme becomes repetitive after a time. It's a stellar way to end the album, even if it's not counted among my favorite instrumentals.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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