Steve Hackett, The Night Siren. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

To be consistent, to be so imaginatively fertile in the use of art across several decades and still sound as if the music you are creating is one that has been inspired by a Muse who knows a thing or two the subtle complexity of being Progressive, then either the world has been kind to you or you just happen to be the person who listens to ones who weep at dusk, who sing songs of fantasy and freedom in the depths of midnight’s favourite illusion or the sense of peace offered by The Night Siren.

The sweet song of surrender, to allow your heart to follow the beauty floating across the ocean, through the swelling sea or even just across the lake and to the warm glow of a fire and the company of mortals, this is the effect that Steve Hackett has on the soul as The Night Siren takes hold, from the first cautious notes in which the Siren has begun to clear her throat and right on through to the Earth consuming finale; the siren and the Muse are not only interchangeable, they are the sisters of artistic freedom.

To be consistent, to continually offer the same high sense of emotion to an audience and understand that the music is what they crave, that the drama is to be avoided, that the complexity of modern living with all its bear traps and ragged rocks guarded by miniature men with jealous swaggering hearts, is just a reflection of the ugliness we hold up as an example of spirits; this is the real reason why Steve Hackett has always navigated the waters with supreme skill and in that has sailed the boat close enough to hear the Siren sing but not be dashed on the hopes of absurdity or the grandiose.

Accompanied by the gentleness and expression of the likes of Roger King, Jo Hackett, Troy Donockley, Gary O’ Toole and the sublime soul enhancing Nad Sylvan on the album is to know that the songs are in expert hands.

Tracks such as the expressive opener Behind The Smoke, Fifty Miles From The North Pole, In Another Life, Inca Terra and the generosity of music found in El Nino all combine to keep on adding to the legend that has dominated the solo careers of all who imbibed themselves in the Genesis bar; a solo voyage in which the Acolytes of the Siren are fulfilled and left with no doubt just how important this music is.

Ian D. Hall