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Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch! CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.59 | 577 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars The consolidation of a Songwriter

Since Voyage if the Acolyte the days of STEVE HACKETT in GENESIS were counted, he was artistically growing while the group was getting more and more commercial, plus it's not a secret that Banks was unhappy with his solo album and the trio vetoed some of his best stuff, but he accepted the rules of the band and waited until he left before releasing Please Don't Touch, a magnificent album with magnificent guests.

The record is opened by Narnia a beautiful song with the amazing collaboration of Steve Walsh, after a beautiful guitar intro, the song develops soft and dreamy but as usual with a strong atmospheric sound which was his trademark in GENESIS.

Carry on up the Vicarage is an impressive song closer to the pompous style from Voyage of the Acolyte, based in an impressive keyboard performance and multiple voices that remind of his career in GENESIS when Peter used to play with the audience, again hits the nail on the head with this tribute to Agatha Christie.

Racing in A seems like a return to that peculiar sound STEVE HACKETT created in Voyage of the Acolyte blending his guitar with the keyboards, but even better because in this album he started to use the Roland GR-500 Guitar Synthesizer that allows him to create more elaborate atmospheres. As usual Steve Walsh and Phil Ehart are simply outstanding. The best track up to this moment because moves from pompous to dramatic, being Steve able to experiment free of the limits imposed to him in GENESIS.

Kim is an incredibly tasteful instrumental dedicated to Steve's girlfriend and future wife Kim Poor, where his brother John demonstrates great skills and musicianship providing a delightful flute that enhanced the beauty of the song.

But it's important to notice that Kim also works as a good intro for How can I? a nostalgic song with the fantastic vocals by Richie Havens, very heartfelt and touching because it seems like Steve telling why he left GENESIS. What I can't understand is why nobody mentions the similarity between this track and Across the Universe byTHE BEATLES that seems more than casual.

Land of a Thousand Autumns was one of the songs composed originally for GENESIS (Far superior than the bland Your Own Special Way), but Steve felt that It had to be sung by a woman, so he went with the wonderful soprano Maria Bonvino'Well let's be honest, even if had offered the track to GENESIS they would had rejected it as they did almost by default.

Now it's the time for the title song and I simply can't understand why in hell did GENESIS rejected it, this track would had closed side one of Wind & Wuthering brilliantly instead of Wot Gorilla?, a perfect masterpiece with all the power and brilliance of the early GENESIS years, especially when followed by the mysterious and delicate Voice of Necam where Hackett offers one of the most sublime acoustic passages.

The album ends with the dramatic Icarus Ascending where Havens demonstrates his wonderful voice enhanced by the dense atmospheric sound created by the organ and guitar, a perfect closer for a remarkable release.

I used to be very harsh with Please Don't Touch being that considered it a more commercial release; with the years I found that I was wrong, and even though I still believe it's not in the level of STEVE HACKETT'S debut, it's a testimony of the guitarist's evolution as a composer with incredible material and very few weaker moments, so I will rate it with 4 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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