Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth (2CD)

Steve's first studio album in some time arrives as a limited edition import with a bonus CD with his running through live versions of old Genesis tunes and solo material. The new album features Chris Squire and Anthony Phillips (believe it or not). The thing I love about Hackett's recent work is that it still clearly has his imprint on it but its not retro - its prog and contemporary.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
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Wow! Did I say "wow?" Ok, WOW!!! Mr. Hackett has evolved his musical vision yet once more and, this time, he gives us what it arguably his most soul-stirring music in a decade. The double-CD "deluxe" edition is the one to get for the inclusion of a 30-minute live segment with 5 Genesis/Hackett staples plus the studio bonus cut that should have been on the first disc along with the rest of the album, "Every Star In The Night Sky." Simply stunning and highly recommended. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
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Of all the Genesis members, Steve Hackett has always been a true friend"artist" that never lets you down. Whatever he does, its always refreshing, and inspiring. One listen to Emerald and ash, a simply beautiful love song, will sweep you off your musical feet. The chorus of Emerald and ash is worth the price of the cd alone. Every song here is like a walk thru his discorgraphy, from begining to end. Nomads' spainish delight;fire on the moon may remind you of Voyage of the Acolyte. Symphonic cd of the Year.-mw
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
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0
Steve Hackett And Gabriel were the only reason I was a big Genesis fan..Steves new cd is a excellent release, Its (IMO) not his best outing . , But its one of his best in years, A lot of stand outs here, Last track in Question... I own every release from S.H. and this cd is ranked near the top... Once Steve left Genesis so did I.......B.Ricci
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
Rate: 
0
Wow! Did I say "wow?" Ok, WOW!!! Mr. Hackett has evolved his musical vision yet once more and, this time, he gives us what it arguably his most soul-stirring music in a decade. The double-CD "deluxe" edition is the one to get for the inclusion of a 30-minute live segment with 5 Genesis/Hackett staples plus the studio bonus cut that should have been on the first disc along with the rest of the album, "Every Star In The Night Sky." Simply stunning and highly recommended. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
Rate: 
0
Of all the Genesis members, Steve Hackett has always been a true friend"artist" that never lets you down. Whatever he does, its always refreshing, and inspiring. One listen to Emerald and ash, a simply beautiful love song, will sweep you off your musical feet. The chorus of Emerald and ash is worth the price of the cd alone. Every song here is like a walk thru his discorgraphy, from begining to end. Nomads' spainish delight;fire on the moon may remind you of Voyage of the Acolyte. Symphonic cd of the Year.-mw
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
Rate: 
0
Steve Hackett And Gabriel were the only reason I was a big Genesis fan..Steves new cd is a excellent release, Its (IMO) not his best outing . , But its one of his best in years, A lot of stand outs here, Last track in Question... I own every release from S.H. and this cd is ranked near the top... Once Steve left Genesis so did I.......B.Ricci
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  • So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
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  • "Alice Cooper wasted little time following up the breakthrough success of Love It to Death with another album released the same year, Killer. Again, producer Bob Ezrin was on board and helps the group solidify their heavy rock (yet wide-ranging) style even further. The band's stage show dealt with the macabre, and such disturbing tracks as "Dead Babies" and the title track fit in perfectly. Other songs were even more exceptional, such as the perennial barnstorming concert standard "Under My Wheels," the melodic yet gritty "Be My Lover," and the tribute to their fallen friend Jim Morrison, "Desperado." The long and winding "Halo of Flies" correctly hinted that the band would be tackling more complex song structures on future albums, while "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" showed that Alice Cooper hadn't completely abandoned their early garage rock direction. With Killer, they became one of the world's top rock bands and concert attractions; it rewarded them as being among the most notorious and misunderstood entertainers, thoroughly despised by grownups." - Allmusic Guide
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Pete Trewavas (Marillion) is put higher in the mix this time and this has to be his finest hour in his whole career as a bass player. His punchy bass tone recalls Chris Squire and Mike Portnoy (drummer) is very inspired here as well.Let's get the negatives out of the way. First, while this is a 78 minute long song, there is a slight pause or distortion between the tracks unless you convert the songs to mp3, making the transition between the movements a bit awkward sometimes. Also, the ending of the album is somewhat boated in length and anti-climatic lyrically, with the disappointment of having Neal Morse preach to G-d in a similar way to his solo albums, which is overdone and one-dimensional. I could add that the sheer length of the album makes it quite inaccessible on the first listens and you would have to endure those first listens in order to understand the album in a musical sense. My last complaint of the album is the quality of the studio songs in the Bonus CD; only Roine's "Spinning" is good enough, yet it's not much better than an average Flower Kings composition.Overture/Whirlwind and The Wind Blew Them All Away is the first sign that shows Neal Morse taking the role in the epic's structure. Neal Morse usually begins his efforts with an overture that introduces various motifs that would be developed later and then play a gentler and possibly acoustic song. It's no different here and it's a winning formula. The Overture is energetic, essential, and is one of the spots where the musicians could show their chops without hurting the flow of the music. "Whirlwind" plays a main theme that would be revisited a few times. Unlike other epics like "Stranger in your Soul", when melodies are revisited, they come in a logical way and not as if the band was suffering from writer's block. "The Wind Blew Them All Away" starts as a Morse acoustic ballad with Roine bringing a soulful guitar solo and then introducing a heavier passage that was played in the overture.On The Prowl has a great rock beat provided by a single bass line and Neal Morse has a great moment, jazzing up the piece with hammonds, Rhodes piano, and minimoogs. Roine, on the backseat, provides great subtle guitarwork. After an angry vocal-led section, there is an interesting turn with Roine bringing a beautiful jazz riff. A Man Can Feel has "Flower Kings" written all over it and is one of the highlights of the piece. It has a dark, somber feel with catchy vocal harmonies in the choruses and an extended instrumental section ending spectacularly with a sinister mood and incredibly awesome and twisted guitar work recalling Steve Howe on Yes ? Relayer. It has to be heard to be believed!Out of the Night has a beatle-ish beat in its choruses and brings back the main themes of "Whirlwind" while Rose Colored Glasses brings a strong melody that was introduced in the early stages of the overture. This song is a very emotional moment in the epic and Morse's vocals are surprisingly good, helping make it one of his better ballads. Roine plays a very soulful guitar solo halfway thru the track with his commonly-used wahwah-pedal.Evermore 's ELP-influenced introduction lead to an awesome eclectic piece that is a joy to hear. The bass and guitar playing is impeccable and the main theme of the piece is memorable. Another highlight. Set us Free is unspectacular but necessary to gel the pieces of the song together and the ending is a quite creative rearrangement of the guitar riff on the second half of "The Wind Blew Them All Away". Lay Down Your Life made me realize how much Neal Morse improved on the vocal department, achieving some difficult falsetto-style vocals in the choruses.Pieces of Heaven is a short but sweet instrumental blending the styles of The Flower Kings with Gentle Giant. The quirkiness of the piece took a while to get used to for me. Is it Really Happening is a much needed break as the first half is atmospheric with vocals reminiscent of Pink Floyd's "Waiting for the Worms". Subdued in volume yet very powerful. This piece is the climax and turning point of the album, with frantic instrumentation in the second half that has what many modern symphonic albums lack: passion. I already described the last piece previously and I have to say that it's a fine piece of music despite my complaints and wraps things up successfully. The issue I have is that it sometimes hints endings that don't come, making it a bit exhausting.Before ending the review, I have to say that the covers of "Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "Soul Sacrifice" are very entertaining; the latter is impressive in that it was done in a single take. It really shows that Portnoy, Trewavas and Roine are virtuosos at their respective instruments and that Neal Morse who is a songwriter, not virtuoso, can handle his own pretty darn well. Another cover that caught my attention is "Salty Dog", just because of Mike Portnoy's singing. His vocals range from embarrassing to mediocre in Dream Theater and here they actually sound as if he was the lead singer of a band! Not excellent, but on par with Neal Morse and Roine Stolt.I have to give a 5-star rating with this album as it's rare that a 78 minute long song can be so well structured and coherent. These four musicians are meant to be together, they have perfect chemistry and there does not seem to be any battle of egos. It is a shame that they are not very well known, are very far away from each other, and lack the funds to be a permanent band. If there comes the unlikely event that they play together in New England, I'd go without hesitation." - ProgArchives
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  • "Counting Leslie West's July 1969 solo album, Flowers of Evil was the fourth album in 28 months for West and Felix Pappalardi's Mountain, and the pace was catching up with them: Flowers of Evil was only half of a studio album with five new songs, its second side filled up with a live 25-minute rock & roll medley and encore of Mountain's sole Top 40 hit, "Mississippi Queen." This was unmistakable evidence that Mountain had run their course. There would be live albums, compilations, and reunions over the succeeding years, but Flowers of Evil marked the creative end of a surprisingly short-lived enterprise. " - All Music Guide
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