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


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 373 ratings

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4 stars Steve Hackett continues here to give the listener a product of high quality: I would even say that this record is among his best ones: a very mature record full of miscellaneous musical genres, containing at least as many acoustic guitar parts as electric ones: to give an overall description is almost impossible, since every track is unique. So, I think a description of each track alone would be more appropriate:

"Strutton ground" starts with excellent acoustic guitars with some reverse recording effects: a short song but pretty enjoyable.

"Circus of becoming" has a real circus ambience, reminding a bit the second part of his "Tigermoth" track on the Spectral Mornings album; the very end is REALLY weird, dark and mysterious!

"Devil is an Englishman" has a light techno keyboards ambience and some Ozric Tentacles-esque effects, but the diabolic & funny tenor male vocals really remain down to earth and I guess they must be charming & seductive for any female listener.

"Frozen statues" sounds very nostalgic with a cold and remote echoed piano plus many urban & jazzy trumpets a la Frank Sinatra;

"Wind, sand & stars" is among the best tracks here: it starts with Hackett's usual excellent & elaborated acoustic guitar; then, when the moving background keyboards and the fast piano enter, everything comes so majestic, graceful and poignant that you naturally listen to it totally in awe: it reminds me the earlier sentimental tracks like "Hammer in the sand" and "The Toast", on his Defector album.

"Brand new" starts again with his usual complex & catchy acoustic guitars, except that here you have addictive & very art rock refrains similar to the ones on the "Till we have faces" album; then, a modern volume variation effect gives some weirdness to the ensemble. The last 2 minutes are really interesting: the first part contains an excellent electric guitar solo like Hackett used to play in the late 70's, followed by strange but good discrete electric guitar notes a la Joe Satriani: the track ends with a beautiful acoustic guitar solo.

"This World" returns to the art rock style with a slower rhythm and repetitive drums; the track is really catchy.

"Rebecca" is a rather graceful, slightly sad & sentimental song, on which many different guitar sounds & effects occur: a pleasant experience for your ears!

"The silk road" shows Hackett's experience with the same kind of Latin percussions arrangements he used to produce on records like "Till we have faces": one can notice some similitudes with the Peter Gabriel's Passion album; this track here is however not the most memorable one.

"Come away" contains some reverse recordings, so typical to Hackett' sound; this track sounds a bit like his "Please don't touch" album: there are some pleasant rhythmic accordion arrangements and some unidentified wind instrument notes.

"The moon under water" is another graceful & elegant acoustic guitar solo that would perfectly fit on his "Bay of kings" album.

My favorite song still remains "The serpentine",: a WONDERFUL, GRACEFUL and SENTIMENTAL song, having some light art rock elements. There are rhythmic flute parts, and when the sentimental flute solos enter with the background floating keyboards and the acoustic guitars or the saxophone solo, then you really believe again that Hackett is a VERY sentimental guy: those flute/sax bits are even better than any flute parts on his "Voyage of the acolyte" album!

greenback | 4/5 |


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