I have started to listen to some Steve Hackett today (Before I only really heard of Spectral Morning which is a 12/C level album for me). I was pretty bored with a few of his songs (there's a fine line between atmospheric and boredom/monotonous and I feel he cross in the boredom territory) but when I gave Out Of The Tunnel Mouth a spin, I was completely blown away. I just finish listening to this for like the 2nd time and I'm so excited that I had to write this.
This is an all time classic and from the short time listening to this album (I only just listen to it twice) perhaps the best album of the 00's (I'm tossing up between this and Kid A)
Things I like about this album
1) Competent moderately catchy melodies - Out of the few Hackett albums I have heard (Spectral Morning, Voyage of Acolyte, Shouded horizon, wild orchids) his melodic abilities isn't that great. However this is probably his most catchy album. Melodies that are actually memorable and nice simple harmonies as well. Not only that his guitar lines, keyboard parts (especially the Bjork-ish type keys/harps in the first song) are pretty memorable and catchy. It's certainly one of the more melodic prog albums I have listen to.
2) This album rocks - One of the things I like about Genesis was how hackett was able to transitions between playing some of the most beautiful guitar lines into blistering solos (moonlit knight, musical box, supper's ready). From what I heard so far in this solo career, he seems to concentrate more on the more pretty atmosphere. However this is probably his most hard rocking effort I have heard yet and he does a great Robert Fripp (red) imitations throughout the album. Also Tubehead rocks and is awesome, oen of those crazy songs that kind of works. I like the Deep purple Jon lord imitation sound at hte begining of that song.
3) The album is not repetitive - From the few albums I have heard, hackett settles into an atmosphere and sticks with it, where you basically have to get into an ambient music mindset. This album the atmosphere is always changing and he continuously adds/subtract instruments to keep the song interesting. The way he seemlessly transition from pretty guitar symphonic prog like atmosphere to hard rock and perhaps even industrial rock is exceptional. If the idea of a King Crimson crossed with Genesis is appealing this album is a must listen.
4) Nomad is awesome - God damn I love this song. The song starts off with some really exceptional latin classical guitar playing which leads to a pretty ballad. Just when you think that maybe the ballad goes on too long and getting repetitive, the songs speeds up, clapping joins in, there's some really impressive classical guitar playing and then bam the drums and bass join in and we get trademark hackett electric guitar solo.
5) Hypnotic rhythm section - this is probably the most surprising this about this album. Perhaps he listen to some peter gabriel nad incorporate some of the percussion work into the album. I find the percussion in Last TRain in istanbul to be hypnotic as well as when the drum enters in Nomad.
God damn, I love this album. I haven't been blown away by an album out of first listen since I listen to The Kinks arthur album. This is a clear 14/E standard album from me, maybe higher if it grows on me.
Does anyone have any more recommendation on any more Hackett album. I have a feeling that his discography is kind of diamonds amongst landmines?
Now I'm going to give this another spin
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