Steve Hackett
Darktown


4.0
excellent

Review

by plugged my butthole USER (21 Reviews)
February 11th, 2012 | 48 replies | 2,836 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Steve Hackett proves that he can compose music well with his great release 'Darktown.'

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

Atmosphere. It has become an extremely desirable object in music, and for a good reason. When a band successfully pulls off an ambient record, it surrounds the listener like an aura of power, giving them an out of this world experience where not only can you hear the music, you can touch it, feel it and taste it. Progressive rock band Genesis were very accomplished at this – albums like Selling England By The Pound were chock-full of ether. Most fans of Genesis are very knowledgeable about the eventual dissolution of the band as we used to know it. Yet sprouting from this break-up, branched three very successful solo careers from former Genesis members – Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett. The Hackett of old – the one we saw shredding his way through tracks like ‘Firth of Fifth,’ and ‘Dancing with the Moonlight Knight,’ with searing conviction- cannot be compared to the one we see portrayed on Darktown, as new musical ideologies take this record by the scruff of the neck and blast them into everyone’s faces.

The mood of this album is incredibly dark and gloomy, trudging along at a funeral-march pace whilst Hackett haunts the listener with his thick atmospheric song-writing. Unlike in some records, where bands get confused with the feelings they try to evoke, Hackett knows exactly what he is doing, as the deep and blackened tracks progress and flow into each other with brilliance as the melancholic environment provides the listener with one of the most interesting and unforgettable experiences they will ever have. The lyrics, for the most part, are incredibly bleak and tell tales of loss and desolation. Hackett takes you on a journey, a story, through doom and despair as he abandons his typical Nintendo-style shredding and adopts are more forlorn tone on the rare occasions he sets himself apart from the rest of the instruments. ‘Twice Around the Sun,’ coming in at track 7 is the first standout instance of Hackett performing an overdriven solo, where he performs a deep and melodious refrain over careful drum-beats and atmospheric choirs and keys. Yet the majority of the time his input is merely a haunting acoustic guitar melody, or subtle chords that suffocate the listener with their hidden presence, in the best way possible.

The instruments used on this album are extremely diverse. To get the full idea, one must read the actual number of members involved in the recording of this record.

- Steve Hackett / harmonica, piano, narrator, rainstick, sequencing, 12-string bass guitar, guitar technician
- John Wetton / bass samples
- John Hackett / flute, Pan pipes
- Roger King / drums, flageolet, keyboards, engineer, mixing, post production, wood, guitar engineer, rhythm coordination
- Ian McDonald / saxophone
- Jerry Peal / strings, bells, engineer, mixing, woodwind arrangement
- Doug Sinclair / bass
- Billy Budis / cello, engineer, mixing, management
- Hugo Degenhardt / drums
- Aron Friedman / piano, keyboards, drum producer
- Jim Diamond / vocals
- John Colbeck / keyboards


The combination of all of those instruments could have ended up poorly for Hackett’s LP Darktown. Yet the tight musicianship and talent displayed by each respective instrumentalist who had a contribution into this release fuse together to manufacture one of the most technical yet masterful releases in an extremely unique genre.

Steve Hackett’s solo career has gone criminally unnoticed by the majority of the public, especially when factoring in how huge Genesis and all that branched off from it were. Darktown, though a change to what some who have only appreciated Genesis’ work may be expecting, is still an amazing album. Although towards the end the eeriness of the album loses a sliver of its original touch, the sensation one gets whilst listening to this is beyond words – Hackett achieves everything he wanted with this LP, and more.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


sorry about the two reviews, but this really had to be done.
how does this have no votes?!

amazing record

Ire
February 10th 2012



41749 Comments


ossum

KILL
February 10th 2012



70599 Comments


damn i gota check this one, only got his 70s albums

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

fsharptrit0ne
February 10th 2012



4814 Comments


darth you a machine

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


its awesome its like steve but not like steve at all

Ire
February 10th 2012



41749 Comments


yeah that summary is terrible but yeah awesome review

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


yeah probably should fix that i dont spend time on my summaries

Ire
February 10th 2012



41749 Comments


use it's not as good as tarzan by phill collins... neck

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


omg why did this get negd

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


if youre going to neg atleast tell me why the review sucks

Josh D.
February 10th 2012



13967 Comments


I just looked at the recommended and my brain fucked itself. I guess I will look this up.

iambandersnatch
February 10th 2012



1466 Comments


Sounds interesting. Summary is a bit over the top, though.

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


yeah this album is awesome, although some songs are pretty boring

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


okay i fixd that summary

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2012



49791 Comments


buddy hacket

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
February 10th 2012



3663 Comments


DarthMann on a review binge, lately?

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


lol yeah its the weekend

Aristotle
February 10th 2012



106 Comments


learn to write dude

Yuma310
February 10th 2012



1656 Comments


1 review a day ple..... oh just forget it

DarthMann
February 10th 2012



13476 Comments


yuma im getting my other one dltd lol

and lol





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