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Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 856 ratings

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5 stars SPECTRAL MORNINGS is another fine five-star album from former Genesis axesmith Steve Hackett.

After the amazing solo debut that was VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE, I had found its successor, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH, to be good, but slightly uneven -- it seemed to me that Hackett was trying to go in too many musical directions at once. SPECTRAL MORNINGS, however, is an altogether more satisfying return to form. It sounds less like a classic Genesis album than V.O.T.A. does, but more "Hackett-like" than P.D.T. At least part of the reason for this lies in the fact that while P.D.T. featured some pretty diverse guest singers and musicians, on SPECTRAL MORNINGS Hackett had put together an actual working band (the lineup would remain the same for 1980's excellent DEFECTOR) who helped to impart a more unified and "progressive" sound to the proceedings.

All of the tracks are good, but particular standouts include the rousing, up-tempo opener "Every Day" (which conveys an anti-drug message), "Clocks" (a schizoid instrumental that alternates mellow, soothing passages with forceful, near-terrifying sections in which Hackett sounds like he's playing a fifty-foot guitar through a mile-high amp), and "The Ballad of the Decomposing Man," which is a dry and darkly humourous look at the soul-killing, stultifying sameness of factory work. The album's real masterpieces, however, are the final two numbers: "Tigermoth" is a nostalgic ode to the downed (and now ghostly) flyers of the First and Second World Wars, who were "proud to serve Kaiser or King," and the closing title track is an instrumental of immense power and majesty that begs to be played loud and often. It is absolutely essential listening for fans of Hackett's Genesis-era work.

Overall, SPECTRAL MORNINGS is a superb disc from one of the genre's all-time greatest guitarists. Very highly recommended indeed!

Peter | 5/5 |


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