Steve Hackett
Darktown


4.0
excellent

Review

by DarthMann USER (21 Reviews)
February 11th, 2012 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

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

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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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ire
February 10th 2012


41822 Comments


ossum

KILL
February 10th 2012


72090 Comments


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

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

fsharptrit0ne
February 10th 2012


4814 Comments


darth you a machine

Ire
February 10th 2012


41822 Comments


yeah that summary is terrible but yeah awesome review

Ire
February 10th 2012


41822 Comments


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

Josh D.
February 10th 2012


13968 Comments


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

iambandersnatch
February 10th 2012


1494 Comments


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

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2012


50871 Comments


buddy hacket

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
February 10th 2012


3663 Comments


DarthMann on a review binge, lately?

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

LifeAsAChipmunk
February 10th 2012


4854 Comments


A Darth review...Pos'd.

Jethro42
February 10th 2012


12547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One of the very few Hackett' albums I've never heard. I shall fix it.

LifeAsAChipmunk
February 10th 2012


4854 Comments


HOW DO I KNOW HE'S NOT UR ALT!?

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2012


21437 Comments


Fuck yeah Hackett rules. I've only heard bits and pieces from this one, I need to check out the whole album.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2012


21437 Comments


Yeah this is good stuff.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2012


16113 Comments


never heard, nice review tho

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


21437 Comments


Yeah, the new Genesis Revisited sounds great from what I've heard of it.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2013


21437 Comments


Rules.

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013


30242 Comments


Dreaming with open Eyes is way sik



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