The Night Siren
The Night Siren, the 25th solo album from former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, is a thing of sublime beauty. Featuring a global cast of musicians, the album features 11 songs that run the gambit between full-on workouts, to catchy run-throughs, to guitar featurettes, to heartfelt love songs and commentary on timely world events.
“Behind the Smoke” is a Middle-Eastern flavored tomb, addressing the subject of refugees with Hackett’s low vocal on top of the heavy strings and expert sitar and electric guitar entries. “Martian Sea” has Hackett playing more sitar and singing with Amanda Lehmann on a track that sounds, dare I say it, almost like a Monkees song!
The centerpiece “In The Skeleton Gallery” delivers a “Kashmir”-like plod. The harmony vocals, Gulli Briem’s heavy snare, strings and gated, single-note Les Paul licks that take the listener back to Hackett’s turns in Genesis. Rob Townsend takes a horn solo mid-way through, and Hackett riffs and wails with full vibrato-bar madness that plays off the horn, making the jam positively nutty.
We’re left with “The Gift,” which reveals that Hackett hasn’t lost his expressive touch one bit. The string keys layering provide the perfect backing to those high passionate notes flying into the stratosphere. As a whole, The Night Siren finds Steve Hackett at the top of his game.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.