I admit that I approached this album with some trepidation as the original Genesis tracks are wonderful in themselves.
However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the treatment administered by Mr. Hackett.
To be honest, Steve should think twice about performing lead vocals on any song (sorry Steve), but his instrumental work and rearrangements of classic Genesis material is often spine tinglingly good.
The dazzling array of musicianship present on this album is thrilling. From Tony Levin and Bill Bruford through John Wetton, Alphonso Johnson, Chester Thompson and Paul Carrack to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the assembly is stunning in its breadth and skill - not forgetting Mr. Hackett himself, of course.
Even though I am a Genesis fan through and through, I would have to say that all of Mr. Hackett's reworkings have something to complement the originals.
"Watcher of the Skies", an already powerful piece, benefits from Wetton's rich vocals and the added orchestration.
"Dance on a Volcano", a terrifically exciting Genesis track, is very poorly vocalised by Steve, using some sort of distortion technique. However, a redemption is effected by the combined drum and bass of Chester Thompson and Alphonso Johnson.
"Valley of the Kings" is a new piece; an OK bow to Mr. Hackett's apparent belief in reincarnation.
"Deja Vu" is a tremendous completion by Steve of a Peter Gabriel song from the "Selling England ..." era. The song would stand alone under any circumstances. In this context, however, it resonates with a certain melancholy for days gone by - appropriate for this album.
"Firth of Fifth" is successfully reworked, from the celeste-style children's musical box intro, to the brazillian percussion and familiar, yet different, Hackett guitar solo.