Third new track: "Beasts in our time"

  • Not a bad song -- strikes me as a cross between "Behind the Smoke" and "Skeleton Gallery." But the video is a textbook example of why I don't care for music videos.

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • Yes, once again a bit derivative, and also unnecessarily pessimistic given the write up under the video (Click "Show More" to see it)

    The clown appears to be a direct lift from the Mute Gods (Nick Beggs/Roger King) video for Feed the Troll.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Don't mean to be flippant, but I'm still baffled by Steve's insistence on cheapening his work by singing on it. It's infuriating when one loves his music (and this tune's instrumental bits are great)... and the reason I stopped buying his albums a good ten years ago.


    If he has to have lyrics (I can't see that, but hey...), why not have someone else sing them - someone who'll add something to the tune, not detract from it?


    Sally Oldfield, Richie Havens, Steve Walsh, Randy Crawford, Paul Carrack, John Wetton, etc... I mean, doesn't that tell us (him) something? And why not have his touring singers have a go at it?


    Think of the added time and energy he could devote to composing pieces worthy of the Genesis legacy he has been so right in upholding live these past years...

    Edited once, last by Lazlor ().

  • Perhaps I am easy to please, but I like Steve's singing.

    Me too. I guess I'm one of those listeners who can't tell an actual good singer from a bad one. Frankly, I think I'd enjoy a lot of music a lot less if I could tell the difference!

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • I haven't heard this yet but generally have no problem with his vocals. And I think it's misleading to try thinking about the difference between "good and bad singers". There are plenty of supposedly "good" ones whose voices I can't bear, Annie Lennox and Adele among them. Similarly with eg Clapton aka "God" being a brilliant guitarist. I can see he is, of course, but that makes no difference to the fact I find his work really dull.


    Ultimately, we all like what we like and where the artist sits in the Official Global Ranking Of How Good Artists Are shouldn't have any bearing on that. So yeah Hackett will be low on the singers category of that listing, I totally get that. Does that mean I'd rather someone else had done the vocals on Camino Royale or whatever? Nah, not really. In fact I'd go further and say that I don't like when there are a load of guest singers, I think it detracts from the album's identity.


    Personally I can see why he includes lyrics - he's a creative person who likes to express his ideas through both music and words.

    Abandon all reason

  • In fact I'd go further and say that I don't like when there are a load of guest singers, I think it detracts from the album's identity.


    A common gripe regarding the Please Don't Touch album.


    On the other hand, nobody complains about Phil Collins and Sally Oldfield singing on Acolyte...

    Personally I can see why he includes lyrics - he's a creative person who likes to express his ideas through both music and words.

    Sure... but then he must know he is far from the best vehicle for these words, as evidenced by what others have done with his lyrics on PDT, Acolyte and others.


    I'm not saying he's a 'bad' singer. He's just bland and highly limited, with a voice and delivery that bring nothing to his ambitious tunes and tend to discourage repeated listening. Take Déjà Vu, for instance–I must have listened hundreds of times to that wonderful song. Had he been the singer on that, well...

    All told I'd rather there were no words at all on at least a couple of Steves 'electric' albums–I'd love it if he were to put out something that might live in the same rarefied atmosphere as his fantastic Midsummer Night's Dream...

    Obviously, he'll do whatever he wants, but such hypothetical albums could be the definitive work of Hackett the great musician we all love... :|

  • nobody complains about Phil Collins and Sally Oldfield singing on Acolyte...


    Obviously, he'll do whatever he wants, but such hypothetical albums could be the definitive work of Hackett the great musician we all love... :|

    I don't bother to complain about those Acolyte tracks but mainly because I simply dislike them. Ironically for someone saying "Well why shouldn't he have vocal tracks!" the only VOTA track I actually like is Tower.

    I wasn't aware the guest singers issue was a common complaint regarding Touch. But again, in a sense a moot point as it's an album I struggle with. I'm not sure I even like anything at all on it.


    You're right in what you say about his voice in that it's not bad but definitely not that good. It's a bit characterless. But it's obviously bad enough to make you wish he'd either hire guest singers or just do instrumentals!


    I think he's long produced his definitive album, which in my view would be Spectral Mornings. I don't think there's anything left in the tank to enable anything on that level, guest or no vocal.


    Side note - SM and Defector feel like definitive albums to me, partly due to their featuring the same band and singer, and with SH's voice there in the mix. I liked that brief phase of consistency and stability, and it yielded good material.

    Abandon all reason

  • I haven't heard this yet but generally have no problem with his vocals. And I think it's misleading to try thinking about the difference between "good and bad singers". There are plenty of supposedly "good" ones whose voices I can't bear, Annie Lennox and Adele among them. Similarly with eg Clapton aka "God" being a brilliant guitarist. I can see he is, of course, but that makes no difference to the fact I find his work really dull.


    Ultimately, we all like what we like and where the artist sits in the Official Global Ranking Of How Good Artists Are shouldn't have any bearing on that. So yeah Hackett will be low on the singers category of that listing, I totally get that. Does that mean I'd rather someone else had done the vocals on Camino Royale or whatever? Nah, not really. In fact I'd go further and say that I don't like when there are a load of guest singers, I think it detracts from the album's identity.


    Personally I can see why he includes lyrics - he's a creative person who likes to express his ideas through both music and words.

    I could pretty much have written this post myself, except the bit about not liking loads of guest singers (more later). Yes, Annie Lennox is over rated IMO, and as a real highlighter about singers, good or bad: Katherine Jenkins, hailed as one of the great voices, yet to me, totally devoid of any feeling or character, dull, dull, dull. In fact, I remember seeing a 13 year old girl on Britain's Got Talent (I was unlucky enough to catch it that night! :)) who idolised KJ and sang in her style, but who, IMO, was head and shoulders better!

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • As promised, I've come back to guests: PDT is one of my top 5 SH albums, it's the one that got me into him, and thus into Genesis. The guest vocalists are a highlight on this album, but even if he, or Pete Hicks, had sung them, I'm sure I'd still love it, it was so diverse yet accomplished in every area, something he is sadly missing on the recent stuff. SM is another, but Defector, I feel, was a bit of a step down. Another top 5er for me is Darktown, which includes a guest vocalist, the "marmite" Jim Diamond, but then I like him, I have the Ph.D album, and it's a good 'un!

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • I don't bother to complain about those Acolyte tracks but mainly because I simply dislike them. Ironically for someone saying "Well why shouldn't he have vocal tracks!" the only VOTA track I actually like is Tower

    Funny how we are all so different, isn't it? I tend to view Acolyte as his best album (you know, that old 'best album Genesis never made' saw)... and the track I like least is... Tower! (Too cinematic by half, like much of his later output... Still, it works very well as part of the whole thing).

    I wasn't aware the guest singers issue was a common complaint regarding Touch. But again, in a sense a moot point as it's an album I struggle with. I'm not sure I even like anything at all on it.

    I haven't listened to it in years (while I always come back to VOTA), but for me it stands on the merits of its collaborations – Narnia, How Can I, Hoping Love Will Last, Icarus Ascending...

    You're right in what you say about his voice in that it's not bad but definitely not that good. It's a bit characterless. But it's obviously bad enough to make you wish he'd either hire guest singers or just do instrumentals!

    Not just characterless - paper thin, with a very slight but unpleasant rasp to it. And since he's trying so hard to get something half decent out of it, it comes out flat, uninflected, devoid of any personality/phrasing. OK, characterless... and totaly unnecessary.


    In-fu-ria-ting :(

    I think he's long produced his definitive album, which in my view would be Spectral Mornings. I don't think there's anything left in the tank to enable anything on that level, guest or no vocal.

    Judging from the smattering of fairly recent tunes of his I've listened to on YT these last few days, I'd say he's lost in a furrow he shouldn't have tried to plough in the first place – but that he could still surprise us if he let his instrumental/classical leanings take over once and for all. The instrumental parts are always outstanding, it's just that there is a general lack of direction (Under the Eye of the Sun is very good in its Yes disguise, hafta say :) )


    Again, I'm sorry he probably won't come up with an electric follower to Midsummer Night's Dream... Something written to the hilt, unhindered by lyrics writing & singing (which, again, must take up an enormous amount of time and energy), or by any commercial considerations... which in Steve's case are a moot point anyway.

    Edited once, last by Lazlor ().

  • I suspect one of the issues affecting the last 3 albums is he could do with a producer. He has, as said above, got stuck in a rut, and Roger doesn't seem to be the answer, good though he was from 1996 to about 2010.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile