Monday, June 6, 2011

Steve Hackett - Darktown

More revealing than ever before and firmly autobiographical, DARKTOWN is as personal a Hackett album as you're likely to see. The usual impossibly big and haunting sounds are occasionally twinned with Ian McDonald's searing, angst-ridden sax or Jim Diamond's soulful vocal. This is a record from someone who has lived and needs to tell you what he's discovered - a nightmare themepark of an album from a man truly possessed. - Product info

Over the course of 25 years and nearly 20 solo releases, Steve Hackett has acquired a vast amount of technical proficiency in the studio. This album, which Hackett produced, is the best-sounding release of his career. Most of the 11 tracks are more like soundscapes or aural impressions, than songs in the conventional sense; this is not necessarily a bad thing. The tapestry of sounds on "The Golden Age of Steam" is perfectly suited to a rather intriguing lyric about a World War II child spy. On "Rise Again" the hopeful lyrics are coupled with guitar playing that truly soars. Most of the other songs, however, are simply not engaging enough to be memorable, even after repeated listenings. In the liner notes, Hackett points out that "Twice Around the Sun" may have the longest sustained guitar note in the history of modern recording, and this points to the album's biggest problem: Hackett seems more concerned with form than substance, which will eventually prove tiring to even the most dedicated fans.- by Steve McMullen, AMG

Artist: Steve Hackett
Album: Darktown
Year: 1998
Label: Camino (1999)
Runtime: 56:37

1.  Omega Metallicus 3:48 
2.  Darktown 4:59 
3.  Man Overboard 4:17 
4.  The Golden Age Of Steam 4:09 
5.  Days Of Long Ago 3:23 
6.  Dreaming With Open Eyes 6:54 
7.  Twice Around The Sun 7:15 
8.  Rise Again 4:26 
9.  Jane Austen's Door 6:13 
10.  Darktown Riot 3:10 
11.  In Memoriam 7:59 
All compositions by Steve Hackett, except 5t (Jim Diamond & Steve Hackett)

Steve Hackett (Guitar, Vocal, Harmonica)
Roger King (Rhythm Soundscapes, Bass, Keyboards) - 1,7,9,10
Roger King (Keyboards, Guitar) - 1,2,10,11
Douglas Sinclair (Bass Guitar) - 1,7
Ben Fenner (Guitar, Mellotron, Synthesizer, Organ) - 1,7
Billy Budis (Cello, Bass Guitar) - 5,8
Davy Jones (Guitar, Thumb Piano, Guitar, Harmonica) - 3
Ian McDonald (Saxophone) - 2
Julian Colbeck (Keyboards) - 2
Jerry Peal (Bells) - 4
Jim Diamond (Vocals) - 5
John Hackett (Flute, Pan Pipe) - 6
Hugo Degenhart (Drums) - 8
Aron Friedman (Piano, Keyboards) - 8
John Wetton (Bass Samples) - 11

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