(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
I assume that by this time in 1984, that music producers and fans alike were wondering what was going on in Hackett's life, as for Steve had just released a Top 20 album, but yet follows it up with the acoustic driven (but excellent) Bay Of Kings. So not known what to expect, Steve releases the most controversial album he has ever Till We Have Faces.
Till We Have Faces signaled the end of Hackett's commercial status, as for asides for the GTR project, his solo work would no longer chart commercially in the UK. A shame as for this is probably one of Hackett's finest moments, as for this album has Steve shifting to a more fusion of percussive/world ethnic style, which is Steve handles just fine.
"Duel" is the opening song, actually sounds like a song to a soundtrack. But yet because of Steve's weak vocals, the song is lost in the shuffle. The next track is foretelling of the album's mood, as the percussionists are on full effect here.
Steve often spoke about how he was influenced by the blues when he was younger, and it's on "Let Me Count The Ways" that such a statement rings true. Unlike the bland Blues With (out) A Feeling album that would follows a few years later, Steve sounds well on this song.
Another favorite of mine, is the pop ladened "A Doll That's Made In Japan" which has its moments. The heavy frantic "Myopia" follows and amps up the mood. Not bad, but Steve's vocals can be a bit trying. The second heavily percussive and adventurous track, "What's My Name", is a great song that has Steve singing and performing very well. With kudos to the Nick for supplying great atmosphere to this song in particular.
Ending off the album are the blues-heavy "The Rio Connection", which features Hackett on the Blues Harp, the somber "Taking The Easy Way Out" is next followed by a lovely version of the Disney theme "When You Wish Upon A Star".
Throughout this album, Hackett experiments with different styles of music, instruments and is seemly growing into a more complete musician. Till We Have Faces, like the two previous albums, might not be Everyone's "cup of tea", but Hackett's has a willingness to show that he is not willing to stagnate when it comes to producing music, whether it be good or bad.
Album rating: Three and a half, bordering Four.