Fireworks

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Steve Hackett - 'Blues With A Feeling' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3d/02/b2/steve-hackett-blues-with-a-feeling-64-1523736157.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 14, 2018    
 
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Not a bad album but Steve Hackett fans beware, this is not what you're used to from the great man.

One only needs to spend a little time with Steve Hackett before realising that here's a man steeped in the Blues. It's maybe a surprise then that he's not done more albums in this style, or is it? I suspect his fans prefer his Prog style and the minority have a taste broad enough to embrace an entire album of this type of material. I admit to being such a person, I have a low threshold for the Blues, harmonica and brass sections. I hate to say it, but I didn't connect with this album the first time round which I bought purely on his name, time hasn't changed my perception.

Anyone familiar with his playing knows Hackett has a gift and he can entrance with melodies and solos. However, his voice has never been the strongest and as such he'd have been much better off getting in a guest singer to deliver them, someone with the necessary grit, down at heel weariness and gravitas to fit the Blues ethos. In an attempt to produce that feel he resorts to effects. You can't query his guitar playing which is exemplary; hence the instrumental numbers, such as 'The Stumble', are the best things on offer. Hugo Degenhardt's drumming is pretty spectacular too.

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The marketing angle for this album is the presence of two new, recently recorded songs, 'On Cemetery Road' and 'Patch Of Blue', on which one can hear a guitar sound more familiar from his recent work and an improvement in his vocals. The former is pretty decent and the latter a strong instrumental until about half way when it gets off track. Both are preferable to the material on the original album.

Of its type this is not a bad album but Steve Hackett fans beware, this is not what you're used to from the great man.

Gary Marshall

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