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

TO WATCH THE STORMS

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 373 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars This is Steve's first studio album since 1999's 'Darktown', and to old Genesis fans like me who only own 'Acolyte' and 'Spectral Mornings' it is something of an ear opener. This shows that Steve has moved far away from the musician he used to be and is now a performer of great depth who is not content to stay within any particular musical style. There are songs that are percussion based (which if I had to pick an ex-Genesis member as the instigator I would probably opt for Gabriel) while there are gentle numbers, yet also others which are far more aggressive in outlook. 'The Silk Road' is dominated by the drums, yet there is room for rock guitar, Genesis-style guitar, acoustic guitar, clarinet and a myriad of other instruments. This is music that is remarkable for clarity of vision and a determination not to be fixed into any particular genre or box.

The album opens with 'Strutton Ground', and the gentle guitar and multi-layered vocals lets the older Hackett fan in gently ' this is the sort of music that one expects from Steve, clever and intricate yet also simple and beautiful. But then compare that to the rock bombast that is 'Mechanical Bride' which is driven along by sax before suddenly becoming a keyboard and string number, then back to the guitars.

This is an album that I have enjoyed immensely and it is exciting in that within each song, let alone from one song to the next, there is a lot of change that makes the music interesting and diverse. One to return to time and again. This release is on Inside Out but it has been licensed from Camino Records which is a UK label, www.camino.co.uk and I see that they are going to be offering this album as a deluxe edition with a hardback book containing a 40 page booklet with Steve's notes on each song, plus extra tracks etc. Also, if you visit the site there is an internet-only single available.

Originally appeared in Feedback #74, Jun 03

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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