ARTIST:

STEVE HACKETT

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

UNDER A MEDITERRANEAN SKY

(2021)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Acoustic, Concept-album, Instrumental, Symphonic
"With its very classical orientation, Steve Hackett's "Under a Mediterranean Sky" will divide: mastery of the acoustic guitar against an orchestral back or overly academic pensum?"
ABADDON (05.01.2021)  
3/5
(0) opinions from our readers (2) comment(s)

Steve Hackett, episode 27! We no longer present the now mythical guitarist, guardian of the Genesis temple, whose productions for more than 40 years show an obvious eclecticism: progressive (the inaugural "Voyage of The Acolyte"), pop ("Cured"), or classical... The use of the acoustic guitar has always taken an important place in these universes, since as early as "Foxtrot" in 1972 Steve delivered a Bach-inspired 'Horizons', and he loves to acoustic intros in his pieces, like 'Blood on The Rooftops' in "Wind and Wuthering", or many titles reinterpreted in the "Genesis Revisited".

At the end of 2020, it's the symphonic territory that he occupies. This is not a first (he had already done so with "Momentum" in 1988 and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1997), but here it is a notebook inspired by a trip around the Mediterranean (hence the title "Under a Mediterranean Sky"): Malta, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Persia or Spain are thus evoked, in as many vignettes where the acoustic guitar reigns supreme. The World music contributions, usually present in Hackett's panoply, are limited to a contribution of duduk and tar in 'The Dervish and The Djin'. The orchestrations, very symphonic, have been entrusted to Roger King, keyboardist and long-time accomplice of Steve.

Some will appreciate an idea certainly not new - poets or musicians have often used it - but Hackett is inspired and brings to bear his remarkable technique: a touch of rare precision and impeccable rigor in interpretation. The opening of 'Mdina' or 'Casa del Fauno' are not lacking in breadth and the percussion in 'Sirocco', or the violin in 'The Memory of Myth' give a welcome extra soul. A nice diary, a kind of impressionistic wandering, with beautiful oppositions between calm moments and orchestral amplitude. 

On the other hand, others will find find this kind of music boring and academic. Especially when the guitar is alone! 'Adriatic Blue', 'Lorato', 'Joie de Vivre', with a sonata by Scarlatti as a bonus have already been heard in "Genesis Revisited". Only 'The Dervish and The Djin' and maybe 'Sirocco' are interesting... At least there's a little bit of the Hackett we know, less cushy, more contrasted. The rest is too classic and too mastered.

"Under a Mediterranean Sky" will surely divide. The atmosphere is of the most "classic", even "classicising". Fans of the progressive rock style that Steve Hackett has deployed since "Please Don't Touch" in particular, by skillfully telescoping disturbing atmospheres and a hovering guitar, will find it difficult to feel comfortable in this more crowded environment. Everyone will thus have a very personal idea when they receive this testimony from an artist who has not finished surveying the world of the guitar.


More informations on http://www.hackettsongs.com/



SIMILAR BANDS:
ANTHONY PHILLIPS, MIKE RUTHERFORD, JOHN HACKETT, SUBMARINE SILENCE, PARZIVALS EYE, FRANCK CARDUCCI, GORDON GILTRAP & OLIVER WAKEMAN, TONY SPADA, ARZ, RIVERYMAN

TRACK LISTING:
01. Mdina - The Walled City
02. Adriatic Blue
03. Sirocco
04. Joie De Vivre
05. The Memory Of Myth
06. Scarlatti Sonata
07. Casa Del Fauno
08. The Dervish And The Djin
09. Lorato
10. Andalusian Heart
11. The Call Of The Sea

LINEUP:
Roger King: Claviers
Steve Hackett: Chant / Guitares / Charango, Oud
John Hackett: Invité / Flûte
Arsen Petrosyan: Invité / Duduk
Christine Townsend: Invité / Violon
Malik Mansurov: Invité / Tar
Rob Townsend: Invité / Saxophone, Flûte
Theo Cheng: Guitares / Invité
   
(0) OPINION(S) FROM OUR READERS    
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(2) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
NEWF
05/01/2021
  0
Un album dans la lignée de "Metamorpheus" paru en 2005, en plus joyeux mais en moins inspiré. Entre musique classique et musique de film, la torpeur s’installe lentement mais sûrement. Impossible toutefois de reprocher à Steve Hackett de donner une fois encore dans le classique, c’est sa principale influence depuis toujours, bien plus que le rock. Cet album ne demande qu’à être joué live avec un vrai orchestre qui lui donnera toute son ampleur, ce qui n’est pas le cas ici puisque toutes les orchestrations sont numériques (confinement et moyens financiers obligent sans doute). Mais il n’en demeure pas moins qu’avec une guitare classique dans les mains, Steve n’a rien à envier aux meilleurs du genre.
TONYB
05/01/2021
  0
Belle chronique : et mon point de vue rejoint celui de Guillaume Pichon. C'est chiant au possible.
Les passages les plus intéressants sont ceux où il n'y a plus de guitare. On profite alors pleinement des orchestrations et des sonorités World. Mais dès que la guitare classique de Steve Hackett se remet en marche, l'ennui s'installe.
Encore une fois, messieurs les musiciens rock, faites-donc ce que vous maîtrisez le mieux : du rock. Et laissez la musique classique à ceux qui en ont fait sa gloire.
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