STEVE HACKETT - At The Edge of Light (25th Jan 2019)

  • Though a huge fan of Steve, unfortunately you could play his last three albums back to back and not know where one finishes and the next starts.” Light” provides the same ”out of the box” wall of sounds, over processed multi layered vocals, the arrangements are the same, slow start, big drums, manic solo, big ending, and of course the now customary ethnic track, with sitar and tabla loops.

    Personally,I wonder if the motivation is waning, he now makes his money recreating his Genesis past, and although I understand the financial reasons for that, since he did Revisited 2, solo wise for me, it’s been all downhill ( I predict Revisited 3 sometime soon).Its not all bad,on “ Fallen Walls”, “Beasts” and “Peace”,there’s the odd glimpse of light through the clouds of his past greatness, but they are coming less frequently now, and unfortunately he’s even dropped the classical nylon tracks now that used to provide much needed light and shade...so overall, not for me.😞

  • Though a huge fan of Steve, unfortunately you could play his last three albums back to back and not know where one finishes and the next starts.” Light” provides the same ”out of the box” wall of sounds, over processed multi layered vocals, the arrangements are the same, slow start, big drums, manic solo, big ending, and of course the now customary ethnic track, with sitar and tabla loops.

    Personally,I wonder if the motivation is waning, he now makes his money recreating his Genesis past, and although I understand the financial reasons for that, since he did Revisited 2, solo wise for me, it’s been all downhill ( I predict Revisited 3 sometime soon).Its not all bad,on “ Fallen Walls”, “Beasts” and “Peace”,there’s the odd glimpse of light through the clouds of his past greatness, but they are coming less frequently now, and unfortunately he’s even dropped the classical nylon tracks now that used to provide much needed light and shade...so overall, not for me.😞

    I could pretty much have written this post, bar the choice of tracks as favourites (Descent is the only decent ('pun my soul!) track) plus I think even Steve would baulk at GR3!

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • I agree with Ian, Beef sums up my feelings about the album, I am trying so hard to like it but like the last couple of albums nothing stands out, as i listen to the tracks I find myself thinking that most of them sound like tracks off his last 2 albums.

    I am going to see Steve in Liverpool later in the year and as usual it will be a brilliant show, although the loss of Gary O'Toole will be a great loss, and i will buy the next album on day of release, I have got past the times when I expected to be blown away, which is sad.

    I like Descent and Peace but apart from that :( I hope after a few more listens it will click, but I doubt it.

  • I must be in the minority but I would love to see a Genesis Revisited 3. Revisited 2 was magnificent; showing respect for the old songs but pumping them full of life and luster. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Losing Gary on the drums though is a BIG loss as he played so tastefully and elegantly and his singing is stellar. Hoping Gary will at least appear on studio albums even if he can't tour. "Mad Man Moon", "Squonk", and "One For The Vine" among many others have yet to be "reborn" by Mr. Hackett.

  • I must be in the minority but I would love to see a Genesis Revisited 3. Revisited 2 was magnificent; showing respect for the old songs but pumping them full of life and luster. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Losing Gary on the drums though is a BIG loss as he played so tastefully and elegantly and his singing is stellar. Hoping Gary will at least appear on studio albums even if he can't tour. "Mad Man Moon", "Squonk", and "One For The Vine" among many others have yet to be "reborn" by Mr. Hackett.

    If he did as he did on the first GR album, by taking risks and completely reinterpreting them, I'd agree, but to me, GR2 was too much of a carbon copy of the originals, plus it seemed he wanted to include guests, even if they didn't work well. Nad's mispronunciation of the first line of 11th Earl grates, and Nik Kershaw, who I like, sounds like he needs a decongestant.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • After "Underground Railroad" and "Under the Eye of the Sun" I had high hopes for this album, but as it turns out those two tasters are actually its highlights!

    I agree with the above totally.


    I just listened to the album for the first time, and... well, it sounds like WOLFLIGHT and NIGHT SIREN mated and had a baby. Well, "Descent" harks back to METAMORPHEUS somewhat.


    Besides the two "Under" tracks, not a whole lot really grabs me. The best aspect is that Steve seems to have somewhat reined in his tendency to let songs meander all over the place -- with the glaring exception, of course, of "These Golden Wings."


    (BTW, does anyone know who the first lead vocalist on "Railroad" is? There are a couple of ladies listed in the credits, with the same last name, but it doesn't say which one is doing the lead.)


    Steve dismisses the Japan bonus tracks as being throwaways, and I guess I can see why. Still, in their own way they're more fun than a lot of the actual album. Maybe Steve should try just messing around, experimenting and having fun, instead of trying to create a Grand Artistic Statement every time. (BTW, "Teach Yourself Vulcan" is misspelled "Valcan" on both the back cover and the OBI strip.)


    Anyway, maybe I'll feel differently after another listen or two, but as of right now I find it hard to imagine that I would be interested in Steve's future releases. And, as a fan of over 35 years (having all studio albums, except GR2, and quite a collection of miscellaneous stuff), that's a sad thing for me to have to say.

    Such are the times we live in, that talking about what's really going on will make you sound crazy.

  • I just got my copy of the new album, but I have yet to listen to it. I'll post my thoughts once I get to hear it. I have a more unusual observation (which may rise to the level of "complaint", but I'd be happy to offer a potential solution for it).


    Does anyone know where Steve got the lines in Latin that are printed in the lyric booklet? I ask because I can't reach a different conclusion that the lines contain an outright mistake or two (or more) either in the Latin itself or the in English translation. I like the fact very much that he would use Latin lines as inspiration for the lyrics and/or the music - I'm an experienced Classicist with both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Classical languages and literature. However, that expertise also makes me wonder where these lines came from.


    The lines in question are printed above the lyrics for "These Golden Wings" and "Peace" (which repeats a line from TGW). I'll explain.


    First, the Latin lines used (w/ translation in parentheses):


    Omnia, Omnia, Omnia, Amor conquit omnia (All things, Love conquers all)
    Promissio cum gaudio (I promise with joy)

    Dulcissime totam tib subdo (Very sweetest, I lay down my life for you)

    Corde pulsum tangite (You touch my heart)


    Now, of course, the translation is very sweet - there aren't any problems there (except for the point that they don't always translate the given Latin). If I had to guess, I would guess that the English came first and someone tried to put it into Latin from memory, but their memory let them down a bit. (To be honest, it reminded me a lot of Latin compositions assignments that I would get from some of my students who just winged it a bit instead of looking things up - an occurrence that unfortunately wasn't uncommon.)


    In the first line, "conquit" is simply not a Latin word. The phrase "love conquers all" is a very famous quote from the Roman poet Vergil (Eclogue X, line 69 - omnia vincit amor). The second line has a basic error of a noun used in place of a verb - promissio is a Latin word, but it's a noun ("a promise"), not a verb ("I promise" = promitto). The third line has a couple of things, one of which I'm sure is just a typo: there's no Latin word for "life" in it (totam means "whole" which could be agreeing with a left-out word for "life" (= vitam), and the second is the misspelling of tibi as just tib (as I said, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that this is a typo). The last line is a bit of an adventure - the English is straightforward enough, but the Latin simply doesn't match it. A translation of the Latin as written would be "Touch a pulse with a/your heart" - a very tricky endeavor indeed. The English doesn't translate tangite as an imperative (= a command form), pulsum is not translated at all, and corde is not in its proper form.


    So, some might be tempted to say, "Who cares?" To which I would respond, why put the Latin in at all if it's simply wrong? Wouldn't you want the inspirational English to be translating equally inspirational (and correct) Latin? If you translated what was actually printed, it would be:


    All, all, all, Love ? all

    A promise with joy

    Sweetest, I lay down a whole ? for yo(u)

    With a/your heart, touch (this is plural too - so you would be ordering more than one person to touch) a pulse.



    What would the proper Latin look like? Like this:


    Omnia, Omnia, Omnia, Amor vincit omnia

    Promitto cum gaudio (the "cum" isn't strictly necessary either, but it's not wrong to have it)

    Dulcissime totam vitam tibi subdo

    Cor meum tangis.



    So, Christian , if you still have connections with Steve, I'd gladly volunteer my services as an editor for all future Latin quotations free of charge! ^^

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • Wow... fascinating. Way to not let someone get away with bad Latin!

    Such are the times we live in, that talking about what's really going on will make you sound crazy.

  • Well those last 2 lines rang a bell. They come from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana:

    23. Dulcissime (Sweetest one)

    Dulcissime,

    Sweetest one! Ah!

    totam tibi subdo me!

    I give myself to you totally!


    25. O Fortuna (O Fortune)

    corde pulsum tangite;

    pluck the vibrating strings;


    I reckon “Plucking the vibrating strings” is a very appropriate phrase to describe Steve.


    Here’s the link;

    http://www.classical.net/music…works/orff-cb/carmlyr.php


    One other thing – Carmina Burana is medieval Latin which is often rather more debased than classical Latin – hence the errors perhaps?


    Now, can anyone nail that “Promissio cum gaudio (I promise with joy)” reference?

    ;)

  • Now that’s what I call a fan base. Bravo!


    Wow... fascinating. Way to not let someone get away with bad Latin!


    Thank you, both! ^^


    The point of my post was really to try to figure out what the heck happened between the Latin and the English. They just don't match as much as would be preferred.

    But, someone else has done some good detective work, and I'll respond to that now. ^^

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

    Edited once, last by OneForTheVine ().

  • Thank you for finding this! I wrote my last post right before I went off to bed, so I didn't get to do some intended Google searching to confirm what I suspected, i.e., that the source might be medieval Latin. However, since you have now done this, we have a bit more clarity. However, we still haven't quite solved all the puzzling bits.


    I suspected medieval Latin from that first line you quoted above. subdo in Classical Latin couldn't be used in the way that it is used here (i.e., the word is only used literally originally and only later develops a metaphorical use by medieval times). I wish I had started writing my post earlier so I could have researched my supposition more! ^^ Now the totam makes more sense too: the speaker of the line in this part of the Carmina Burana is female (the -am ending of totam is feminine - thus, revealing that the me in the line, since totam is agreeing with it, is female. (Of course, this now causes a bit of a problem with Steve supposedly saying this line to someone else, but it's also easy to let it slide too - so let's do that. ^^) Of course, I also wonder what happened to the me from the original - it really ought to have made the trip to the booklet...


    The corde pulsum tangite ("pluck the vibrating strings", as you found - but I have reservations about that rendering too) would indeed apply well to Steve. This, of course, makes it all the more puzzling why the translation offered in the booklet for this phrase is "You touch my heart". :/ Something has gone very, very astray here... (Using the rule that medieval Latin generally doesn't give a flying f*** about grammar explains a lot. Of course, overly free translating can add to the confusion as well - the three Latin words you found translated more precisely would be more like "pluck the struck string" ("vibrating" I guess was used because, once a string is struck, is vibrates - still, pretty free; also "corde" is singular, but that may have been altered to fit the meter - songs having the same rules for bending grammar as poetry). So, let's now consider this one "solved" too! ^^


    I'm also now thinking that Promissio cum gaudio may be "correct" since it is medieval Latin. It's completely possible that promissio may have been transformed into a verb by that time.


    I just looked further on conquit - I have no idea where that word comes from. ^^ It's just not Latin - Classical or medieval.


    Well, my offer still stands to Steve for free Latin editing/proofreading/translating! :thumbup: I do have texts on medieval Latin and the Carmina Burana (which I had to break out of storage for our adventure here ^^). Well, I do feel like we've gotten closer to explaining what might have happened. Maybe someday we'll know it all.


    OK - I'll try to post about the music on the album next time. 8)

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • Something has gone very, very astray here... (Using the rule that medieval Latin generally doesn't give a flying f*** about grammar explains a lot.

    Yep! Me, I’m just a medievalist .... & we leave grammar to the classicists. ;)

    I'm also now thinking that Promissio cum gaudio may be "correct" since it is medieval Latin. It's completely possible that promissio may have been transformed into a verb by that time.

    My parents often played their Carmina Burana LP, hence the “Dulcissime” line was instantly recognisable. So was “Promissio”, “cum gaudio” & a lot of other short lines that rhyme with “Oh Oh Oh”. Both come from “Tempus es iocundum (This is the joyful time)” the track before “Dulcissime” but they don’t belong together, which confused me earlier. Still, if those other Latin lines are so garbled, it’s obvious that someone has accidentally fused them into one phrase in Steve’s lyrics booklet.


    So that’s the Latin sorted: it’s 3 (oddly translated) lines from Carmina Burana & one dodgy bit of Virgil! ^^

  • Yep! Me, I’m just a medievalist .... & we leave grammar to the classicists. ;)

    My parents often played their Carmina Burana LP, hence the “Dulcissime” line was instantly recognisable. So was “Promissio”, “cum gaudio” & a lot of other short lines that rhyme with “Oh Oh Oh”. Both come from “Tempus es iocundum (This is the joyful time)” the track before “Dulcissime” but they don’t belong together, which confused me earlier. Still, if those other Latin lines are so garbled, it’s obvious that someone has accidentally fused them into one phrase in Steve’s lyrics booklet.


    So that’s the Latin sorted: it’s 3 (oddly translated) lines from Carmina Burana & one dodgy bit of Virgil! ^^

    Oh, I get on with medievalists! ^^ One of my best friends at uni was one - he was working his way steadily to his doctorate while I was finishing up my Bachelor's. He would ask me the odd Latin question from time to time in his studies. Heck, if it weren't for the medievalists in the Middle Ages, we wouldn't have any Classical literature around today...


    Yes, it's been a while since I listened to Orff. He even set some of Catullus' poems to music. I'm going to see if I can unearth that CD - the Orff collection I have has both the Carmina Burana and the Catulli Carmina on it. I didn't know that keeping up-to-date with it might help me with Mr. Hackett's Latin quotations. ^^


    Well, I've actually listened to the new album now, so I'll write about that in my next post.



    P.S. The culprit is named in the booklet! Someone named Peter Rudden is responsible for the "Latin"! Christian , I'm serious! I can do a better job with Latin, with an appropriate English translation too! Please let Steve know! ^^

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

    Edited 2 times, last by OneForTheVine: The Latin mangler is known! ().

  • OK! I have listened to "At The Edge Of Light" now. I'll have to listen to it a few more times to get a good feel for it.


    I listened to the 5.1 DVD-Audio version today; I'll listen to the stereo CD later. From my listening, I understand the opinions of both those who liked it and those who found it a bit lacking. A couple of niggles first: I know that digital recording (i.e., straight to a hard-drive) makes things easier (and probably much cheaper) to record and mix. However, nothing beats the sound of music going down on analogue tape. No matter how good the digital engineering and mixing, the music just doesn't breathe the same way. That's what I heard throughout the disc - is this the flat sound that many were complaining about on his previous two albums? I have to admit I don't have those. I noticed that many said that this album, the last one, and Wolflight sound very "same-y". Also, nothing beats the sound of a live drummer. There are many good percussion bits on modern music apps, but none sound just like a live drummer. Only 4 tracks have a drummer on this album; I generally preferred those to the ones that had drumming by app.


    Now, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy listening to it! None of the songs I disliked. I thought that Steve's vocals were pretty good too. I remember about 20 years ago, he was still altering the sound of his vocals, but I'm glad he's no longer doing that. It was interesting to hear the old "Mars, The Bringer Of War" progression in "Descent" (I also thought that it was a bit odd that Holst wasn't at least mentioned in the credits - there's a long, proud history in prog of quoting this particular bit of music). On just the single listen, the tracks that stood out for me were "Underground Railroad" (good to hear the McBroom sisters on this), "Those Golden Wings", and the last three songs (Descent, Conflict, Peace). I'd have to listen to it again to pick out other songs, but on the whole, I liked this album.


    After listening to it, to get me further in the mood for the shows later this year, I listened to the 5.1 DVD-A of "Spectral Mornings" and am now listening to the 5.1 SACD of "Selling England By The Pound" (things don't get any better for the ear than listening to these back-to-back). For "Spectral Mornings", I listened to the Dolby AC-3 surround. On DVD-A, I have found over the years that for studio albums from the 60s and 70s I prefer listening to the Dolby version; for studio music from the 80s and 90s, and for live albums from any decade, I prefer DTS. Does anyone else have this kind of preference, or am I somewhat unique here? Anyway, listening to it again reminded me how much I love this album of Steve's and how good a job Steven Wilson does with his remixes of prog classics. (I also though how great it will be to hear Craig Blundell blast away on "Clocks - The Angel Of Mons" and "Tigermoth" - that should bring shivers to the spine!)


    Also, re-listening to this SACD of SEBTP just reminds me yet again that nothing beats a good SACD for an album originally recorded in analogue. I'm with Steve - this album is my favorite of the 5-man band too. I can't wait for the shows! Roll on September! 8)

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • Thoughts after my 2nd listen...


    Fallen Walls and Pedestals: Serves a similar function to "Out of the Body," except for being a little less odd. Not bad but doesn't leave much of an impression.


    Beasts in Our Time: Doesn't really light my fire, although there's nothing really wrong with it.


    Under the Eye of the Sun: This is the album's one real "I'm glad I bought this CD" moment for me. Not perfect but a definite highlight. Kind of reminds me of Yes -- or, perhaps, what I would imagine Yes to sound like based on the old Roger Dean album covers.


    Underground Railroad: It seems odd that Steve would revisit the same subject matter as "Black Thunder" so soon, but I like to think of this being as that song's sequel. It loses points for meandering somewhat, but it does have some really good bits. (BTW, I'm going to guess that Durga McBroom is the sister who sings lead at the beginning, since she's the one who has her own Wikipedia page!)


    Those Golden Wings: This is the one song on the album that most rubs me the wrong way. It's not an 11-minute song; it's a 4-minute song padded out with pieces that could be the basis for at least one other song, and which don't flow into each other very well.


    Shadow and Flame: Not much to this one -- just a brief vocal section followed by an extended "Eastern"-sounding jam. Enjoyable for what it is, in sort of a "Rio Connection" or "Howl" sort of way.


    Hungry Years: You know, I've often had the impression that Steve's been trying to learn, not quite successfully, how to write a simple, catchy pop song since 1981. ("Enter the Night" may be the one case where he just about nails it.) He does pretty well with "Hungry Years," though. It calls to mind "Loving Sea" and "Divided Self" (from Squackett), while being better than either. The ending reminds me of "Anything But Love" (probably my favorite post-OOTTM Hackett song).


    Descent: This probably calls to mind different things to different people, but to me it's most reminiscent of "Under the World - Orpheus Looks Back". While Steve does occasionally let a song stay in one groove for a while (see "Shadow and Flame"), this one is especially hypnotic. Not bad.


    Conflict: Like "Fallen Walls", this is pretty good but doesn't leave much of an impression. (BTW, on my Japan copy, at least, it seems the track division between "Descent" and "Conflict" is about 15 seconds too early.)


    Peace: This album's counterpart to "West to East." Had potential to be a decent pop anthem but it's a little too unfocused.

    Such are the times we live in, that talking about what's really going on will make you sound crazy.

    Edited 2 times, last by DecomposingMan ().