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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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Symphonic Team
2 stars Faceless

This is possibly the weirdest album in Steve Hackett's whole catalogue. The lyrics are often weird, the sound is weird throughout, and some musical choices are really weird also. What's My Name and Matilda Smith-Williams Home For The Aged (what a title! And the phrase actually features in the lyrics!) are very long tracks with Steve's Brazilian friends doing some rather overlong percussion workouts. Not too interesting, I must say. Matilda Smith-Williams Home For The Aged is based on a melody recycled from the previous album, or very close to it. A bit unimaginative if you ask me!

Till We Have Faces was recorded in Brazil and produced by Hackett himself. The sound of this album is really weak. The instruments often sound timid and thin, and there are problems with the recording and/or production.

The Rio Connection and When You Wish Upon A Star are simply out of place, being more than a bit silly and not at all in touch with Hackett's musical vision. Let Me Count The Ways is a pure Blues rock number, and as far as Blues numbers go, this is not the worst, but a bit boring nonetheless.

A Doll That's Made In Japan is quite nice but probably too Pop oriented for the average Prog fan. Duel is enjoyable and it vocally reminds me very much of Andy Latimer of Camel. This is also the first song on the album with really good guitar work.

Myopia is a song I knew from Steve's live set, where he used to play a short instrumental snippet of this song during a medley (available on the excellent live DVD Somewhere In South America, for example). The riff is fantastic, but here it sounds really weak in comparison with the powerful live version. And one great riff does not make a good song. A huge disappointment for me, this one!

Taking The Easy Way Out slows things down, and this is a nice, but ultimately forgettable song with some good acoustic guitar. The Gulf is actually a very good song! And easily the high point of the album. Also Stadiums Of The Damned is pretty good. Both of these songs are available on the recently released Feedback '86 (intended for release in 1986, but stayed in the vaults until 2000), however, where they sound much better. So there is really no reason to buy Till We Have Faces for those two songs. Get Feedback '86 instead!

Till We Have Faces is easily the low point of Steve Hackett's long career, and an album strictly for us fans. The only reason I give it two stars rather than just one, is the presence of a few decent moments and some interesting musical ideas (sadly not executed very well, though).

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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