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NEW ALBUM: John Hackett, Nick Fletcher - Beyond the Stars

[Image: 51GxPOVOcNL._SS500.jpg]

A new album from Steve Hackett’s younger brother who I keep trying to listen to and like. This one might swing it. He has worked extensively with the older Hackett and plenty others, but I haven’t really got on with his previous solo or split releases, in the rock arena I should specify, as I am not au fait with his new age material, of which there is plenty. I do like his and Steve’s Sketches of Satie

He’s playing here with Nick Fletcher, who from what I can ascertain, is actually a very well regarded classical guitarist, a virtuoso, and if it is indeed the same person, he has to be congratulated on his versatility – he acquits himself very nicely in proggy stuff. Where they fail miserably, IMHO, is vocally. John is a great flautist but a pretty crap singer. The music is decidedly there – I can hear definite Genesis influences, which isn’t a huge surprise, but there’s not an excessive amount of that and there are some truly lyrical moments when it does gel.

While I don’t like all nine of the tracks, six pass muster and at least five hit the spot. I find the thing with JH is that there’s a tendency to meander and noodle unnecessarily – lacking in focus, which this still is to a degree, but which is somehow more tolerable; I just could not handle 2017’s We Are Not Alone, maybe I should try that again. On the other hand, Nick Fletcher is a rather fabulous noodler! Lol! Worth a listen I reckon, and a vast improvement.

Favs – “A Horse Named Cadillac”, “Leaving it all Behind”, “Mist on the Lake”, “The Waves of Fair Isle” (an instrumental that I loved) and “That Ship Has Sailed” which is the only clip I could find on YT ….

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson

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