on 26 January 2010
This is so far the best album from Steve Hackett since the genesis years, I have followed his work since the first solo album and this has some of the freshness which were on those first albums, coverart could be better, but what the hell :o) This album has all the aspects of Steve Hackett's music, from soft romantic to scarry mystical passages into Prog Rock, BUY IT, you will not regret!!!
on 8 January 2010
Here is another masterpiece from one of the most creative and imaginative musicians/composers on the planet. Like his previous albums Wild Orchids, To Watch the Storms, Darktown and others, this new one boldly goes where few are going: music and songs of real imagination, depth, power and passion. Melodies and lyrics hit straight to the heart and arrangements blow the mind. Not to mention the brilliant playing and performances. A real shame that he is so under appreciated because his albums, this included, beat the heck out of every light-weight album by Phil Collins and every post-Gabriel Genesis album. To anyone who seeks uncompromising music of adventure and integrity, this album and the music of this man is the real deal. Procure at once and you will not be disappointed!! Sheer genius....
You know how it is with buses, none for ages then several all come along at the same time...well, 2010 is shaping up on the same basis on the guitar wizard front.
Having only just extricated the most recent and best offering from Jeff Beck from my CD player, now we get the latest set of tunes from one of the most under-rated musicians/songwriters that GB has ever turned out and again, (IMHO) this has got to be the best and indeed, most eclectic mix ever.
While I have sometimes been taken aback by Steve because of the variety of styles he can turn out in one album, one thing you cannot get away from is the man's originality and all here beautifully showcased. If heavy electric rock/blues is your thing, then "Tubehead" and "Still Waters" will have you tapping your feet particularly the latter with it's soaring, chattering, sometimes manic solos.
The closing track "Last Train To Istanbul" evidences Steve's ability to take evocative eastern music and turn it into a beautiful, soaring musical landscape. For the eclectic mix of styles, try "Nomads" which combines a flamenco opening and finishes with a rocking flurry and the classy "Ghost In The Glass" provides the slightly jazzier end.
The bonus album is simply that - some live renditions of some of Steve's concert favourites - although I have to add that I have heard better versions - it's just the singing that's a little shaky - but on top of that there is an extra studio cut too in the form of "Every Star In The Night Sky" which for some reason, didn't make the cut for the main album.........although it most certainly should have!
If you know the man's music, you don't need to be told - for everyone else, what on earth are you waiting for....BUY!
on 2 October 2010
This, along with Asia's 'Omega' is the best album I've heard this year. Although I'm very familiar with Hackett's work with Genesis, with 'Selling England By The Pound', 'A Trick Of The Tail' and 'Wind And Wuthering' being the best in my opinion, I've never tried his solo work until now. The reviews I'd read about 'Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth' had been so good, I felt inclined to invest in a copy. I'm glad I did, because this is an outstanding record.
Right from the opener 'Fire On The Moon', I knew I was in for a good time. It's a killer track with a hypnotic melody, ghostly vocals and a bolero style bass from Yes's Chris Squire.
'Nomads' shows Hackett's Spanish guitar skills and the gypsy theme is very potent before bursting into some scorching prog.
Next track 'Emerald and Ash' is a bitter suite ballad, with some lovely acoustic guitar before breaking into some stark rock. It's a hell of a piece.
'Tubehead' which follows is an energy burst instrumental track with a thumping rhythm section and the kind of guitar pyrotechnics which border on heavy metal.
'Sleepers' is perhaps the centrepiece of the record. It's a real epic that mixes folk and prog with some startlingly good symphonic orchestration. Absolutely glorious stuff.
Not being a fan of either jazz or blues the next two tracks 'Ghost In The Glass' and 'Still Waters' aren't as strong as the previous numbers for me but are still enjoyable enough thanks to Hackett's flawless playing.
Final track 'Last Train To Istanbul' is a real tour de force, which again has some fantastic orchestration and has a genuine Eastern feel to it which packs a punch in terms of atmosphere and drama.
You won't find many albums this year that are packed with as much variety as this effort. What Hackett and his fellow musos manage to achieve here is a fusion of prog and world music that sounds fresh, modern and relevant and while there are lots of styles and sounds on display, there's a haunting ethereal quality running through each track that gives the whole thing a sense of uniformity.
Hackett's guitarwork is awesome. The pastoral, autumnal sound he is famous for is there in spades, but he adds some real electric guitar histrionics, that would give Iron Maiden a run for their money, plus a blues performance on 'Still Waters' that would put any New Orleans resident to shame.
As for the bonus disc, it's a clutch of live tracks, of which the old Genesis numbers 'Blood On The Rooftops' and 'Firth Of Fifth' are fairly predictable highlights.
I've had to start shelling out on Steve Hackett's back catalogue now, as well as parting with some well earned cash for his Holmfirth gig later this year thanks to this album.
Don't delay, buy today!
on 14 July 2010
In my opinion Mr H is the only member of the classic Genesis 5 piece line-up to emerge with both his integrity and artistic mojo well intact. Sonically he's the master of dynamism, "Fire on the Moon" being a classic example of a sly beginning betraying the big forces never far up his sleeve. The album's lyrics give us, whether we want it or not, an insight into his relationship with Kim Poor, and quite honestly I find that side of it all a bit doleful and perhaps a bit too personal. "Emerald and Ash" with its sonic insinuations as well as lyrical ones makes you feel you've lived some of their personal history a bit too vicariously. I can't be alone in wishing them both well, but I feel like the mutual friend stranded between loyalties in someone else's divorce and that always makes me feel awkward. All that aside, Steve remains an unsung hero, deserving of far greater success with an enviable work ethic for which he should be rewarded suitably. "Out of the Tunnel's Mouth" shows just how much he can still knock out new fusions and make musical connections with singular originality. Whether it's better or worse than previous releases is a bit of fatuous chin-stroking; Steve's always worth a punt of your shekels and this one is no different. Buy, play, enjoy, empathise and wish you too could play the guitar this well!!!!
on 1 August 2010
For me this was one of those CDs that cliked after many listens and I now can't get the songs out of my head! If you want to listen to music as a background then this is not it; if you want to have the music paint pictures for you then this IS it!
Historically I have most of Steve's work but still go back to "Spectral Mornings", however this CD changed all that. It has taken time to explore the music here and understand it, and now it's one of the first albumns that I will put on at the start of a listening session or when out and about with the ipod.
Words that spring to mind - atmospheric, dramatic, surprising and excellent musicianship. The recording is variable between tracks - "Fire on the Moon" goes from simple to overblown at times, but tracks such as "Nomads" are better.
Buy it and take your time - you won't be disappointed.
on 1 March 2013
Have Seen Mr Hackett Quite a few times also with Genesis This is One of the best album i have Heard
for Years it is mysterious thought provoking, and has a feel of Russian in it and the music and the guitar playing is superb-----if i could give this 10 out of 10 i would this is a must buy for Lovers of Music and Hackett and Genesis Fans Alike : )
on 12 December 2010
Echoing some of the other reviews, when I first listened to this CD, I was unsure on several counts. Firstly, the absence of a credited drummer - I can only guess that the drums are computerised. Steve, why didn't you get Gary O'Toole to play drums on this? Secondly, although Chris Squire and Anthony Phillips are there, they for the most part are low in the mix, and therefore how they have been recordred and mixed does not do them justice. That aside, most of the songs grew on me, apart from one (more of later). There is the usual eclectic mix of musical styles any Hackett fan should come to expect, which I appreciate is not to everyone's taste.Favourites include Nomads, Sleepers, Ghost in the Glass, Emerald and Ash and Tube Head - all these songs are multilayered, and have different musical styles from flamenco, classical, minimalist, experimental to outright rock. Fire on the Moon is a big sounding song but not as good as soe have made it out to be (much better live though, as Hackett always is, in my honest opinion). Last Train to Istanbul sounds like 2 different songs have been cut and pasted together - it took a number of listens to get into this song, and it is a good album closer, but does not stand out to me. Still waters is the one song that could have been left off the album (and out of the live setlist, having seen Steve do this last and this year) - I like the blues, and I am not a purist by any means, but this does sound like a bad pub rock number, with vocals that do not fit the song. I'm sorry if this does sound harsh, but this is the one song I skip, and this could have been replaced by something much more imaginative from Steve, hence the 4 star review. My last gripe is that I bought this in 2009, on the Wolfwork label at one of Steve's gig's, and was a bit miffed to see this re-released with extra tracks a few months later cheaper! I do recomend this album to Hackett fans, but would not say this is a good place to start with his solo work - Spectral Mornings and Voyage of the Acolyte are the ones to start with I think. Enjoy!
on 19 April 2010
I know of no other contemporary musician and song-writer who can embrace so many different styles - rock, blues, world and jazz - and claim them all as his own. Steve Hackett has simply got better and better in the 30 years of his solo career and must be one of the most under-rated people on the contemporary musical scene.
Songs are intelligent and well-crafted, Steve's guitar playing always seeks to expand the horizons of both electric and acoustic and his voice has become stronger. Lyrically, this album reflects his experiences in personal and business lives, but without ever descending into mawkish sentimentality.
He has always had the inate ability to surround himself with top-drawer musicians, none more so than Roger King, keyboard player and sound engineer extraordinaire. All make worthy contributions to this album. It has the added bonus of the live CD; Mr Hackett and co., are great in the studio, but even better live, so there is much to enjoy in this 2 CD set.
In short, I can recommend this without reservation. Buy this and then work backwards through Steve's distinguished discography; "Wild Orchids" is another "must buy", then move on to "To Watch The Storms". Order this new CD now; delay will only deprive you of an intensely enjoyable listening experience!!!
on 9 May 2013
This is more a work of great quality of this musician who does not canca to produce good albums. A CD which has beautiful songs and well diversified beyond the bonus recording with very good hits live. There is nothing to lose. The repertoire is very good and needs no comment, showing style, finesse and high sensitivity that are characteristic for Steve Hackett. Time passes and the work still very good. It's great for the fans and for those who like good music. Excellent! Note 9.0.