Esoteric Antenna Records [Release date: 25.09.15]
Although it must be difficult to carve yourself out a career when you are the sibling of a high-profile and much-revered performer, John Hackett has made more than a mere niche for himself in the field of progressive rock music.
As the go-to man when anyone needs a rock flautist (given that Ian Anderson is a one-band man) he has appeared on more albums than you could shake a stick at – the most noted of which were those of his brother Steve following his split from Genesis.
His work on albums such as ‘Voyage Of The Acolyte’, ‘Spectral Mornings’ and particularly ‘Please Don’t Touch’ was exceptional and laid the foundations of what has been a high quality if ‘under-the-radar’ career.
This career has included many albums with Nick Magnus in the ambient trio Symbiosis and a few solo works for flute and guitar.
Strange then that ‘Another Life’ (is there a statement in that title?) is only his second outing in the the rock genre following the critically acclaimed ‘Checking Out Of London’ in 2005.
It almost goes without saying that he has called in favours from a number of previous collaborators, not least brother Steve who takes care of lead guitar on seven tracks (plus harmonica on one), Nick Magnus who swaps between the drum and keyboard stools (as well as producing) and a wonderful cameo appearance from original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips.
Inevitably, during a career involved with the movers and shakers in the progressive rock world, Hackett has absorbed no end of influences which are laid bare here – not as mere pastiche but almost in a celebratory fashion.
In many ways this is an album of contradictions too – despite being recognised as a flautist, the flute only occurs sporadically; despite having Steve Hackett on guitar the most Steve-sounding track, ‘Forest’ doesn’t feature him and despite never having worked with Peter Gabriel, the riff on ‘Burnt Down Trees’ is an absolute shoo-in for ‘Sledgehammer’.
There are many highlights here – check out in particular the cascading chords of the title-track opener, the ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ guitar arpeggios of ‘Look Up’, Steve’s coruscating guitar solos on ‘Burnt Down Trees’ and ‘Rain’ and the pastoral loveliness of Anthony Phillips’ twelve-string on ‘Satellite’.
‘Another Life’ is essentially a low key, elegiac album – more a Sunday morning listen than a Friday night – but the excellent tunesmithery of Hackett himself together with the top-notch musicianship of all concerned, carries the album along beautifully.
An under-stated gem. ****
Review by Alan Jones
Alan sequences “The Eclectic Mix” on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, third Sunday of the month at 16:00. Expect some prog.
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 28 September 2021.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!