Artist: Steve Hackett
Album: Genesis Revisited II
Rating: 2 Stars
So I love Genesis, new, old, blue, bold you name it, I'm a fan. There have often been times that I've thought to myself that I'd love to hear updated versions of some of the old classics, seriously, who wouldn't want to hear Apocalypse in 9/8 with a Heavy Devy (Townsend) style wall of noise holding down the bottom as Clive Nolan soars through the keyboard solos with something other than a forty yer old organ.
Ok, I get it, maybe not everyone has that hope, I did though.
The one thing that I didn't want was a recreation of the original recordings as true to their initial recording as possible. I believe that Phil Collins was considering doing an album recreating fifty's standards note for note. He received a certain amount of ridicule from the prog community for this endeavor. Unfortunately, for me this is the same basic concept, only with better starting music. If I just wanted an updated recording of the music, I'd have bought the original 5.1 remasters that were reissued a few years ago . . . oh wait, I did.
I don't mean to sound terribly bitter, but I was so excited about this release prior to buying it, when it came out, it sounded like another version of the originals rather than a remake. The Mellotron was a fantastic keyboard in its time, it was a pioneering instrument, cutting edge. That was forty years ago. Same with the Hammond B3, it was fantastic and fresh in the heyday of progressive rock, but when today's keyboard players rely almost exclusively on these keyboards it sounds like they haven't moved on in forty years.
We've moved past the electronic toms and Jan Hammer keyboards of the eighties. If this album was to be an updated version of the seventies classics that I love so much, it failed. It wasn't as much an update as it was a rerecording.
Now, with that being said, there are still some highlights. Some of the songs do have additional vocal harmonies which somewhat satisfies my 'time to do something different' twitch. The Musical Box and Eleventh Earl of Mar both have harmonies added by Nad Sylvan that were welcome additions to my ears. In addition, the expanded chorus in Ripples featuring the mixed choir of voices is absolutely beautiful. The addition of the female voices adds a wonderful touch.
I do realize that this album is partially a showcase album designed to create excitement about an upcoming tour of the material with Mr. Hackett's new band. I am excited to see the tour and would even buy a live album from the tour.
In the end though, I have to give this CD a two star rating. While I would give five star ratings to many of the albums that these tracks originally appeared on, this release did not do enough to distinguish itself from the original songs and give it merit on it's own worth.