“Join me at full throttle on a ride from the shores of Loch Lomond to the Rings of Saturn”, Steve Hackett urges of his 24th solo album. And you’re forced to concede that you just don’t get that kind of ambition from the average Mercury-nominated indie act.
His is no idle invitation, either, because the man who is surely weary of being described as “the former Genesis guitarist” offers an extraordinarily diverse and far-reaching album which leaps between genres with vision and vitality.
That the playing is classy is a given (we may soon also have to stop referring to bassist Nick Beggs as “ex-Kajagoogoo”). The gentle surprise here is how interested and innovative the musicians remain (Yes bassist Chris Squire guests).
There’s much dewy, elegiac beauty and melancholy pomp, of course, but Prairie Angel and Catwalk brink on Roxy Music levels of glammy sass.