STEVE HACKETT: "The Circus And The Nightwhale" (16 February 2024) - review online

  • Here's Steve's predictably downbeat and subtle description of the track:


    "Wherever You Are is my favourite track on the album," says Hackett. "It’s at the point of resolution at the end, when finally love wins through and the world opens up. It’s both a love song and a rock song… with a joyous spiritual payoff.


    "A song of love winning through, shattering the chains of the physical world… Light obliterating darkness. A new universe has opened up with the hope that such a strong love could even survive death. The dreams of childhood realised, there is a sense of everything coming around full circle… Even the three part harmony guitar at the end of Genesis’ The Musical Box is revisited in spirit with the joy of celebration during this song.”

  • Here's Steve's predictably downbeat and subtle description of the track:


    "Wherever You Are is my favourite track on the album," says Hackett. "It’s at the point of resolution at the end, when finally love wins through and the world opens up. It’s both a love song and a rock song… with a joyous spiritual payoff.


    "A song of love winning through, shattering the chains of the physical world… Light obliterating darkness. A new universe has opened up with the hope that such a strong love could even survive death. The dreams of childhood realised, there is a sense of everything coming around full circle… Even the three part harmony guitar at the end of Genesis’ The Musical Box is revisited in spirit with the joy of celebration during this song.”

    Excuse me, I need to go and lie down for a while.

    Abandon all reason

  • Not a good advertisement for the album. On first listen I'd say this is a rare case where I like the noodling stuff better than I like the main part of the song.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • Meh.


    Whoever arranges Steve's songs should just stop.


    I know I'll buy the album, but like the last several, I'll play it once and never remove it from the shelf again.


    Last one of his rock albums that I enjoyed was Wild Orchids (I'm not counting any of his live Genesis Revisited albums)

  • Wild orchids was arranged by the same guy …

    cheers

    Christian


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  • Wild orchids was arranged by the same guy …

    And, who is that? Honestly have no clue.


    Wild Orchids is all over the place musically, but for the most part each individual song maintains a mood. Recent albums of his, there are really abrupt changes in a lot of songs. Abrupt changes by themselves aren’t necessarily bad, but what he’s been doing recently just doesn’t work for me. At all.

  • And, who is that? Honestly have no clue.


    Wild Orchids is all over the place musically, but for the most part each individual song maintains a mood. Recent albums of his, there are really abrupt changes in a lot of songs. Abrupt changes by themselves aren’t necessarily bad, but what he’s been doing recently just doesn’t work for me. At all.

    Well, principally Steve, but Roger King is also hugely involved in the sound. He is engineering it and doing all keyboard, most drum sounds and most of the bass too. In the early days of his presence (GR 1 & Darktown) he was a real asset, so much better than Julian Colbeck who he replaced, but as time has worn on he has become more heavy handed and stuck in a rut. And I agree, Up to Beyond... the songs were consistent throughout, but different from each other, now it's all one long slog through the same stuff.

    Ian


    Putting the old-fashioned Staffordshire plate in the dishwasher!

  • I just now realized that I've been reading the album title incorrectly the whole time. I've been thinking it was "The Circus and the Nightingale." The fact that the album cover wouldn't really make sense with this title never occurred to me, probably because a number of Hackett album covers don't really make sense with their titles.


    I'm guessing that "nightwhale" is a word made up for this album? A quick Google search doesn't seem to bring up any other uses of it (although I did find a couple occurrences of "night whale" -- i.e., 2 words).

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • I listened to the song again and it's pitiful. No interesting melody, useless breaks, horrible vocals. In short, it's probably his worst song in quite some time.

  • I listened to that second track again, and while it's cheesy and clunky, I don't mind it especially compared to the first one. I realized while listening that it hints at some self-awareness on the the part of the artist that it's naff and over the top which is very hard to explain properly. But it lends some sort of charm or authenticity to music in general. A bit like "wheel in the sky" by Journey - it sounds like they knew they were making shite music and decided to double down on it which paradoxically pulls it up a little.


    I may not be explaining this very well.

  • I listened to the song again and it's pitiful. No interesting melody, useless breaks, horrible vocals. In short, it's probably his worst song in quite some time.

    But...but... it's his favourite track from the album according to the blurb in thewatcher 's post above. Whenever artists make such statements it makes you wonder what they actually think of the rest of the songs.