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Steve Hackett - Till We Have Faces CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

2.42 | 223 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars An off day in the quality control department

"Till we have faces" may well be Steve Hackett's most commercial offering of his entire solo career. Unfortunately, what it demonstrates above all is: a) Hackett's value was far greater as a member of Genesis, and b) He's not that good at making commercially orientated music.

I'm not saying this album is bad, it is not by any means, but this is the sort of music which is regularly churned out by any number of rock star wannabees. The vocals are dull, and despite a certain amount of processing, undistinguished. Hackett's forte, his guitar prowess, is largely hidden in a mish-mash of synthesisers and dance rhythms.

Tracks such as "A doll that's made in Japan" and "Myopia" have catchy themes, but then so do many dance anthems. What they lack is anything original or appealing. Hackett certainly moves through different styles, there's the jazz funk intro to "What's my name", the freeform guitar on "Matilda.", the Led Zeppelin style blues rock of "Let me count the ways", and the brief lullaby "When you wish upon a star" to close. The afore mentioned "Matilda.." (Full title "Matilda Smith-Williams home for the aged") is a lengthy, more ambitious track with nuances of Yes' "Gates of delirium" and "Ritual".

The better tracks include "Stadiums of the damned", a softer ballad style piece, with a Pink Floyd/Camel feel; "The Rio connection" which has a striking theme, although the Camel like vocals are average at best, and "Taking the easy way out" with its "Clocks" like start leading into a Roger Waters type vocal and repetitive chant.

This is by no means a solo album, Hackett calls in the assistance of many fine musicians, throughout. Unfortunately, he did not present them with a plethora of great material with which to work. For me, Hackett will always be best when he is part of a team of equals. His days with Genesis are long since gone, but his more recent "Genesis revisited" project demonstrated that in the right situation, and with the right material, he can be up there with the best. On his own though, he misses the quality control needed to ensure that only the best material is allowed to be included on his final products.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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