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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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3 stars After the experimentalism of Darktown, Hackett returned to more familiar proggy pastures. With 74 minutes spread over 17 tracks it's a bit of Hackett overkill, but there's plenty to enjoy and little or no offputting material.

Highlights include the pastoral opening Strutton Ground, the playful psychedelic tune Circus of Becoming and the creepy gothic prog of The Devil is an Englishman, not only one of the best tracks of 2003 to come from an icon of the classic prog generation, but also a highly innovative piece, slightly reminiscent to King Crimson but still with a recognizable Hackett touch.

Frozen Statues is a gorgeous smoky jazz song. I'd dare to say Hackett beats David Sylvian at his game here. The next highlight is Mechanical Bride, another nod to King Crimson. Hardly believable this comes from a 53 year old rocker that had lived through a more then 30 years long career at that point. He sounds as wilful and inspired as any youngster.

Wind, Sand and Stars is a melancholic classical guitar piece, a familiar Hackett trait. Does he have one album without such beautiful little moments? Big was my disappointed when Brand New kicked off, an AOR rocker with uncalled for experimentalist excursions, sounding very much like something from a 53 year old that wants to sound young. Strange. Maybe, without the vocals the experimentation might have been more digestible.

The album is still stuck in a rut on the next track This World, a pop ballad. Rebecca is a more subtle ballad with a guitar solo spinning around a soft jungle techno beat in the middle. Shouldn't we suggest Hackett for the eclectic sub genre? Also The Silk Road is a great Hackett track.

With 35 excellent minutes out of 74, I end up with a 3.5 star album that feels too indulgent for 4 stars and too daring and original for 3.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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