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Grows on you,
This review is from: A Life Within A Day (Audio CD)
A birthday present from my kids, and I was very grateful to receive it!
Initially, despite the fact that I had previously listened to samples, and had asked for it as a result, I was not sure what to make of it.
The album was not - initially at least - distinctively what I have come to expect from Hackett. I put that down to the fact that it's a collaboration with Chris Squire. But then, what precisely is it that he brings to the table?
As the proud owner of Fish Out Of Water (Deluxe Expanded Edition) and also Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the redoubtable Yes bassist. As someone else has pointed out, it's no good expecting a particular thing based upon the oldish 'Fish out of water', because that was then and this is now.
So perhaps the sign of quality in these collaborations is that you can't tell where one musical contribution ends and another begins? What we get is not distinctively one or the other, although I would say that there are plenty of distinctive Hackettish flourishes, the harmonies and moods are precisely what we've been used to in his albums. And there's some excellent rumbly, arpeggiating base work there, so it's not as if Chris just turned up for the photoshoot.
Overall, I really like it. It's not prog rock as we know it. It's a bit poppy in places, but overall this is a really satisfying album with plenty of excellent new material. Still not sure about those highly processed vocals (now, that is distinctively Hackett!).
Favourite track would be 'Tall Ships' - really great rhythm and compelling riffs, morphing into something rather atmospheric. The transfer from the penultimate track ('Can't stop the rain') into 'Perfect Love Song' is also excellent.
Overall, four stars because I think that this Beyond The Shrouded Horizon deserves five.