Let’s get this out of the way: I’m a Steve Hackett fan. I have been one since I first noticed his pioneering work in Genesis. In fact, I don’t divide Genesis, as many do, between the Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel eras. For me, the real shift came when Hackett left the band to explore working as a solo artist. Since his departure from Genesis, Hackett has released over 20 albums and shown himself to be a musician of extraordinary range. From uptempo progressive rock to blues to world music to modern concert (classical) music, Hackett has been unafraid to try new musical ideas and present the listeners and fans with something new. Not all of his albums are masterpieces, but it is easy to appreciate his musicianship and the daring approach he takes to music.
Hackett’s latest release, The Night Siren, takes several diverse musical influences and puts them on display in a single showcase. This was intentionally done. As Hackett states, “This latest waxing represents a bird’s eye view of the world of a musical migrant ignoring borders and celebrating our common ancestry with a unity of spirit, featuring musicians, singers and instruments from all over the world.” This desire to feature musical perspectives from around the world gives the listener a broad pallet of musical timbres to enjoy, including singers from Israel and Palestine, percussion from Iceland, and various instruments, including Uilleann pipes from the nearly ubiquitous Troy Donockley and Malik Mansurov playing the Azerbaijani tar.