Lee Speaks About Music… #140

The Night Siren – Steve Hackett



Steve Hackett continues down the same road of his previous album Wolflight by bringing in yet more musicians and instrumentation from World Music to spark up his creative juices and get them flowing for his 24th studio album The Night Siren. From the many countries he visits he seems to bringing back instruments from them to add to his arsenal and try and get a bit more creative with them. 20 people including himself is what it took to put this album together. Much of the regular and additional musicians who played with him on his previous album Wolflight are here along with a few others, and some of the written material that was used for the album came from what he had left over on that 23rd studio album of his as well. 

The Night Siren is the first album he actually felt like a vocalist and he cited the style of American singer Tim Rose as an influence. Hackett had been working on his voice since around 1981 and even I have noticed he’s improving over the years although that could be perhaps down to double tracking and adding more multi-part harmonies. The Night Siren is said to be a rock album, it’s also said to have some influences from the Beatles‘ psychedelia phase and classic science fiction and the latter of that might reflect on the artwork that was chosen for the albums front cover. But before we go any further let’s take a look at the packaging and artwork. 

The Packaging & Artwork…


Both discs come in a high quality thick cardboard Mediabook which is the same material used to make a hardback book. Clear plastic trays on the left and right panels hold the discs firmly in place and it comes with a 28-page fixed booklet with all the linear credit production notes and lyrics. It also comes with some informative information and some high-resolution pictures that are associated with the albums tracks and overall, it’s a very well-made high-quality package. 

The album was released in 4 media formats that come in the form of a Digital Download. A Double Vinyl LP. A CD only edition and a Mediabook that includes a CD & Blu Ray. Being a Surround FREAK! the Mediabook was my preferred choice and I purchased it from Amazon UK for £13.95 saving around £3 off its retail price. A Limited-Edition Double LP pressed onto green & black coloured vinyl that also came with the CD.



Once again both Maurizio and Angéla Vicedomini took a lot of photos that Hackett liked and used in particular for the Mediabook. Much of the photos were used to represent each track on the album and many of them were taken in Iceland, such as the one that shows a couple of rocks with the Northern Lights illuminating in the background that was used for the albums front cover.

Hackett said that the two rocks give a sense of several things. The choice between two ways, the point of no return and the dangers through which we pass in life. The image as a whole is both awe inspiring and thought provoking. The design and layout were done by Thomas Ewerhard. Overall, I feel the rocks and backdrop are a bit like something from a science fiction movie which may look cool but it’s also on the dark and dreary side of things and does not do a lot for myself.

The Night Siren Album In Review…

Steve Hackett’s 24th studio album The Night Siren was released on the 24th March 2017. The album comes with 11 tracks spread over an overall playing time of 57 minutes, 40 seconds. Because of the popularity he was gaining from his Genesis Revisited tours the album broke into the top 30 of the UK album charts and peaked at number 28. It also done slightly better in Germany and well in most European countries. 

Since moving home Hackett does most of his recording in his own home in Teddington London and other parts are recorded by the other musicians in various other places across the world and sent to him for Roger King to mix. It’s not much different to how many musicians (including myself) would go about recording an album these days and saves a lot of cost in hiring a studio. But of course, having a good recording engineer onboard is something most people do not have. 

Home Studios in Teddington_Fotor

The album was also mastered by Roger King at the same place but to make sure everything is all well and good Hackett then pops over to a friend he met through Chris Squire known as Charlie Dodd of Crooked Hand Productions for a final mastering process as seen in the video below.

Most of the tracks for the album were recorded between the spring and the summer of 2016 and they also made a start on the album as early as February in that same year. The Blu Ray that comes accompanied with the CD contains the 5.1 mix of the album and a short film of which this short video clip was taken from. So, let’s now take a look at the Blu Ray.

The Blu Ray.

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The Blu Ray’s main menu displays the albums artwork twice and may have been better without including the smaller picture of it and to have gone with just the one. It also has some words floating around in the sky that are appear between the lines of a sort of compass chart and I have seen this before on one of my Gentle Giant Blu Ray’s. Ray Schulman of that band does the Authorizing for most DVD’s and Blu Ray’s some of his ideas are bound to get reused, but it makes a very cool effect.

The menu itself presents you with 4 options “Play Album”. “Track Select”. “Audio Select” and the 4th option is the bonus documentary. It’s easy to navigate and because the albums artwork does have more of a dark and dreary landscape, it does not look as sharp or pristine as the artwork for his previous album Wolflight with how it presents itself to you.

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I like how both the “Track Select” and “Audio Select” have pop-up drop-down menus when you click on them rather than having to wait for the disc to load to another screen as you can see in the picture above and below. 

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The “Audio Select” gives you the choice of 3 audio soundtracks 2 of which are surround mixes and by default the audio is set to the DTS Master 5.1 mix. There is also a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a LPCM Stereo mix. All 3 formats are in 24 bits & 48K.

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It displays one of the associated pictures for each track and the title of the track on the screen whilst listening to album. Once again, the decision to use a smaller image within the albums main artwork is not as effective as it was on the Wolflight Blu Ray and it would have been better just to show the complete picture. 

There is only one bonus feature on the disc and that is a 23 minute, 27 second documentary titled “In Deepest Darkest Teddington – The Recording of the Night Siren” filmed and directed by Paul Gosling. It’s quite good and shows you Steve Hackett working with Roger King in one of the rooms in his new house showing you the process of how they recorded the album. 

You also get to see a few of the other musicians who popped over to be recorded in the same room and others recording the parts at their own houses and studios. Plus, Steve Hackett popping over to Charlie Dodd of Crooked Hand Productions for a final mastering process. The audio is in 48k 16 bit. 

The 5.1 Mix.

The 5.1 mix was done once again by Roger King and thankfully I am glad to see that this time there were no faults with it like the surround mix he did for the previous album Wolflight to which was pointless and a waste of space putting on a Blu Ray disc. I am quite impressed by this 5.1 mix too and it’s not what I would call an all-round exciting mix, however it does have some quite exciting moments in parts but overall, I would say that it’s a very satisfying mix that bring out very good detail with the dynamics.

It works extremely well for the separation of the orchestral parts and I like how he chose to put most of the orchestral sections to separate them from the band by placing them in the rear channels. This works very well on most tracks and for opening track “Behind the Smoke” it gives it a more of a broader scope and field and works very well. I think the placement of the backing vocals, harmonies and some spoken parts benefit for being placed in the rears too and so does some of the ambient sounds. The guitars are panned across all channels to good effect on some tracks and “El Niño” is a good example of that and I like how the stamping feet on “In the Skeleton Gallery” also work out well to that effect. 

I would not say all the tracks have been done so well but the biggest majority of them have been and I do think Roger King has done a really good job here. I am well pleased with the result of the surround mix and it’s well worthy of a score of 8 out of 10. It’s even more of a shame now that the 5.1 mix for Wolflight was faulty and was never rectified for us to hear because King does have what it takes to do a 5.1 mix which is something a lot of engineers don’t have at all.

Musicians & Credits…

Photo by Tina Korhonen © 2016, all rights reserved.

Tracks 1 – 10 Produced by Steve Hackett & Roger King. Track 11 Produced by Steve Hackett & Benedict Fenner. All compositions by Steve & Jo Hackett (except tracks 2 & 4 by Steve Hackett / Roger King. Track 1 by Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King. Track 3 by Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Amanda Lehmann. Track 8 by Steve Hackett / Jo HackettRoger King / Troy Donockley. Track 11 by Leslie-Miriam Bennet / Benedict Fenner. Track 6 by Steve Hackett).

Tracks 1 – 10 Recorded & Mixed by Roger King at Siren. Track 11 Recorded & Mixed by Benedict Fenner at The Paddock. Mastered by Roger King. Blu Ray Authoring by Ray Shulman. 5.1 surround Mix by Roger King. Design by Thomas Ewerhard. Photographic artwork by Maurizio and Angéla Vicedomini.


Steve Hackett: Vocals – Electric & Acoustic Guitars – Oud – Charango – Sitar Guitar – Harmonica.
Roger King: Keyboards & Programming (except on track 11).
Rob Townsend: Baritone & Soprano Sax – Flute – Flageolet – Quena – Dudek – Bass Clarinet (Tracks 1, 4, 7 & 9).
Christine Townsend: Violin & Viola (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 & 10).
Amanda Lehmann: Vocals (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10).
Dick Driver: Double Bass (Tracks 3, 4, 5 & 7).
Gary O’Tool: Drums (Tracks 3, 4, & 10).

Additional Musicians.

John Hackett: Flute (Tracks 2 & 10).
Gulli Briem: Drums – Cajon – Percussion (Tracks 7 & 9).
Nick D’Virgilio: Drums (Track 2).
Troy Donockley: Uilleann Pipes (Track 8).
Malik Mansurov: Tar (Track 1).
Sara Kovács: Didgeridoo (Track 3).
Ferenc Kovács: Trumpet (Track 3).
Benedict Fenner: Keyboards & Programming (Track11).
Leslie-Miriam Bennett: Keyboards (Track 11).
Nad Sylvan: Vocals (Track 7).
Jo Hackett: Vocals (Track 10).
Mira Awad: Vocals (Track 10).
Kobi Farhi: Vocals (Track 10).

The Album Tracks In Review…

The idea that Hackett sees behind the The Night Siren is that it’s a wakeup call to all the things that are presently happening in the world and how we tend to be moving into another dark age with some of the not so good decisions world leaders are making. By him gathering up musicians from all over the world is a cry out for peace in the sense that we can all get on with each other musically and this is how it should be rather than being at war with one another. It’s his response to the far-right ideas currently dominating the political landscape. 

I think beside the political landscape Hackett has also been drawing ideas from the landscapes of many of the countries he has visited. I would also say he’s been drawing from visualisations and in a way that he has also been incorporating more along the lines of a Cinematic approach into his music and this is something he has been doing on his previous couple of albums Beyond the Shrouded Horizon and Wolflight. 

Like both of those albums The Night Siren tends to have the feel of an album that has been made out of material that was written for an album that contains a collection of songs, and an album that is more along the lines of a soundtrack album that was written for a movie. The orchestration in particular is built along the lines of the sort of modelling that goes into making soundtrack material and besides the real instrumentation there is also synthetic aspects that goes into the making of the music. So, let snow take a deeper look into the album and as we go through the individual tracks. 

Track 1. Behind The Smoke.

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The albums kicks off with quite a powerful very well built up song that has a touch of the east, some dramatization that fits in with the subject matter of the lyrics are based around, it also contains a well good lead solo from Hackett. It’s a song that gradually builds its way along and is done in that way to portray and dramatize the seriousness of the subject matter the lyrics are pertaining to which are around conflicts of civil war in the Middle East, and the turmoil that the civilians are caught up in being stuck in the middle of it all trying to find a safe haven from their homes that are being destroyed. 

Considering there is an array of musicians who appear on this album most of the music for this opening track is done by Roger King. He’s very much done all the orchestral arrangements and played them on his keyboards, he’s also programmed the drums. The only other musician on the track is Malik Mansurov who contributes to the eastern sound on the tar, to which he has done quite a GRAND! job of too. Rob Townsend is also somewhere on here but he may only be playing a bit of percussion on the dudek or using his sax to add a bit of humph. 

Steve Hackett handles most of the vocals and Amanda Lehmann contributes to some of the chants on this particular track. In some ways because of how the vocal line is delivered in a dark manner and more or less at a spoken pace it kind of reminds me of Johnny Cash only instead of singing country he’s singing about another country and one that is in the far east. I like how Hackett does express the vocal line on the second verse that comes into play at around the 2:08 mark though I have to confess I am not a fan of Lehmann’s cat wailing :))))). 

Overall “Behind the Smoke” gets across the message with its lyrical content and the whole eastern vibe is well fitting in with the lyrical side of things. Though I have to confess I myself am not a fan of eastern music and the orchestral section is perhaps too blown up but nevertheless adds very well to all the drama and might even fit in with an adaptation of the Arabian Knights for a Walt Disney production, although I am sure they done a similar animated adaptation with of Aladdin. It also contains some well tasty solo work from Hackett.

Track 2. Martian Sea. 

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A touch of India is associated with this track and perhaps a bit of George Harrison’s vibe he gave to the Beatles with his association with Ravi Shankar and that country with the use of the sitar that is heavily utilised on this song. Steve Hackett does play Sitar Guitar on the track though I would also say that there are samples of the real instrument that have also been thrown in here. Though once again Hackett’s guitar work on this track is really good. The orchestral section that comes in at the 2:34 mark that Roger King has done also contributes to the BEATLE ESC! vibe and feel too. 

Spock’s Beard’s drummer Nick D’Virgilio plays drums on this one and Steve’s brother John Hackett contributes flute to it also, whilst Amanda Lehmann’s vocals are utilised every now and then to blend in with Hackett’s vocals has, we have seen in the past. The lyrics pertain to the alienation in a relationship that has gone wrong and become more of a one-sided affair sort of thing. Overall, it’s a very good song that throws in some psychedelic colour along the way and quite a lot has been put into it. It’s also perhaps more rocked up than what the Beatles did to some extent. 

Track 3. Fifty Miles From The North Pole.

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This next song was inspired by his trip to Iceland in 2015 when he performed with the band Todmobile and one of the places he visited was literally 50 miles from the north pole and it was freezing over there. It’s the longest track on the album and goes through some good transitional changes along its path. Once again Hackett’s solo work on the electric guitar is excellent and he even incorporates a bit of a James Bond theme into the track on the guitar too. 

More of the other musicians are involved on this track too which does help it and the string section works well with Christine Townsend’s violin & viola and Dick Driver’s double bass is used more like a cello in parts too where he’s using a bow on it. I do feel that Roger King might also be enhancing the orchestral parts with his keyboards too but it works quite well. 

It also features Sara Kovács on didgeridoo which the drone from the instrument is utilised in parts and her father Ferenc Kovács on trumpet which pierces its way into the song very well with its high pitch. Gary O’Tool is outstanding as ever on the drum kit and Amanda Lehmann’s voice gets utilised more prominently in a short gothic choral satanic like section that’s like something out of a horror film :))))). 

Overall “Fifty Miles from The North Pole” is both PROGMATIC! and CINEMATIC! and the combination of blending the two together works better than the opening track on the album I feel. There is quite a bit of diversity throughout this album that works and some do not I feel, however this is one of the better tracks on the album and a contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! 

Track 4. El Niño.

T 4_Fotor

Another arrangement or perhaps more of a orchestral arrangement of “Please Don’t Touch” which Hackett originally wrote the instrumental piece for his second album of the same title back in 1978. Since then the piece has most likely been arranged 20 times and has appeared on many of his albums under different titles such a “Hackett To Bits” for example. This version works very well and the orchestration takes it to other places. 

I have to admit when I first seen the title I was confused because it sounds like something associated with Spain or Mexico but it is in fact associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. It features all 6 musicians in the musician’s line up section and they all do a GRAND! job here and it’s another really GREAT! track and contender for the albums TOP SPOT! even though it may be embarking on material from the past. 

Track 5. Other Side of the Wall.

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Apart from the previous instrumental album track this is the first of the songs that has more of a Hackett feel and presence about it, and its most likely down to that it’s the first song on the album he gets on the acoustic. The “Other Side of the Wall” is a song where you do not need the Cinematics and Dramatics to be adventurous and this a truly BEAUTIFUL! well written song and it ventures along the lines of stories like “The Secret Garden” and was inspired by the garden or grounds at the back of a house in Wimbledon, London he returned to with his wife. 

Secret Garden Collage_Fotor

It’s a two-part song with how the song changes from the opening couple of verses and along with his acoustic guitars Hackett handles all the vocals & harmonies on this track and does a GREAT! job. Both Roger King and Christine Townsend combine the strings together and Dick Driver adds a touch of bass on the track too. In a way the song also reminds me a bit like a combination of two eras of Genesis music and the first section with the nylon guitar sort of harks back to the album Wind and Wuthering whilst the second section with the 12-string guitar takes me back to the album Nursery Cryme. It’s very much another one of my contenders for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! 

Track 6. Anything But Love.

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This song features less musicians and starts off very well with the acoustic intro which features Hackett playing some Spanish Flamenco style on his acoustic to which he’s backed up with the use of his guitar for the percussion by slapping it. Once the bass and drums kick in (which are programmed) it takes the direction of a song and he brings in the electric guitar which does rock it up more towards the end and he also plays a solo on the harmonica too. Amanda Lehmann is back to contribute some backing vocals. 

Personally, I like the intro more than the actual song and I do think the programmed drums are on the weak side of things here, especially in relation to how well Roger King has programmed the bass line. If anything, the bass line on this track is more dominant than any other track on the album. It does not do Dick Driver any favours either but I suppose he might not have been available at the time and Hackett wanted to get the album finished on time. 

Track 7. Inca Terra.

T 7_Fotor

This song was inspired by the trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru that Hackett and his wife went on and is quite a piece of work that crosses styles and continents. It’s a song that does have some Hackett ESC! familiarities about it especially with the vocal harmonies on the first verses. But it also has some more like Yes harmonies in it as well and he is going on quite a roundabout here :)))). Besides the vocal harmonies the music also has some familiarities and the way it opens up reminds me of the arrangement that was done for “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)” by Simon & Garfunkel. The charango that Hackett also plays on this album was the very Peruvian instrument that gave that song it’s unique sound to which you can very much hear on this song.


Steve Hackett has acquired quite a few new instruments on his travels and most likely also plays the Oud at the end of the song as well has his acoustic and electric guitars. Another of the Peruvian instruments that also features on the song “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)” is the Quena to which Rob Townsend accompanies Hackett very nicely with.


Besides the usual suspects Roger King, Christine Townsend and Amanda Lehmann doing their parts very well here Dick Driver returns for the final time on the album and his bass is quite dominant and oddly enough sounds more like an electric bass rather than a double bass. The Icelandic drummer and percussionist Gulli Briem make an appearance and this is the first of two tracks he plays on, and besides the drums the cajon he also plays is very much associated with the percussion side of Peruvian instrumentation. Nad Sylvan also contributes some backing vocals on this one track too. 

Inca Terra” is quite a PROGMATIC! track that crosses ravines, borders and many styles along its journey, it combines folk with rock with the use of the instrumentation and you may start out the journey in Peru and wind up in somewhere more eastern like India or Pakistan with how the piece transports itself along with its progression and transitional changes. It’s another fine piece of work and contender for the albums TOP SPOT! 

Track 8. In Another Life.

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A song that starts out and ends off like a folk song and gets rocked up with its middle section with the electric guitar which is perhaps the only part of the song that has any real HACKETT ESC! resemblance. It’s a story about some unsung hero in the highlands of Scotland and most likely harks back to the Battle of Culloden in 1775 with the notorious Redcoats who were ordered to root out and destroy Jacobite. I am not entirely sure if that is what it is embarking on and and I am no historian but it sounds a bit like Crosby, Stills & Nash meets Rainbow sort of thing and is quite different for Hackett I will say.

This mostly features Hackett & King and Lehmann joins in on the vocals as ever, but it does also feature Troy Donockley on uilleann pipes to which is an instrument I do like to hear. The only trouble is they are only used right at the end and it does not feature them enough to make more of a statement which is a bit of a shame. They do however project and stand out more so in the 5.1 mix though.

Track 9. In The Skeleton Gallery.

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Next up is my personal favourite track on the album and “In the Skeleton Gallery” is song that has two halves and a bit in the middle with how it changes and contains some really GREAT! progression and is quite a tasty one for prog rockers. Hackett’s voice really suits this song and I can understand why he did say it was the first time he felt like a singer. Amanda Lehmann’s supporting vocals are also very well blended in here too.

The song has quite a mystic Egyptian feel on the intro with the strings provided by Roger King and Christine Townsend and the first 1 minute and 45 seconds are dedicated to the singing section and this is the second of two tracks on the album that features Gulli Briem on drums. Lyrically the song is pertaining to the night terrors from childhood like in a nightmare or really bad dream and draws on that. There are some nice reverse guitar effects in the first section too.

The song comes down and Rob Townsend provides some haunting notes on his sax backed up once again by the strings and keyboard and some stomping marching feet and spoken words on this middle section and then at the 3:03 mark it launches into the battle with heavy guitars, and Rob Townsend plays quite a blistering solo on the sax and Hackett joins in for a bit on the guitar afterwards.

The song was used to launch and promote the album and was put on Inside Out Records YouTube channel. It’s unfortunate that no visual video was made like the picture above suggests that pertains to the song’s lyrics and the nightmare. “In the Skeleton Gallery” is an excellent track and is my personal choice to merit the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! and sounds excellent in 5.1 too. 

Track 10. West to East.

T 10_Fotor

This is a song that cries out for peace and could be seen as an anthem for peace in the way that it rallies over the chorus of the song. Besides Hackett & Lehmann on vocals there is also his wife Jo plus Mira Awad & Kobi Farhi. Both John Hackett on flute & Gary O’Tool on drums return and holding up the keyboards and strings are Roger King & Christine Townsend. It’s a fine ballad like song that’s sung with heart and contains some fine acoustic and electric guitar from Hackett.

Track 11. The Gift.

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The final track on the album is an instrumental piece that’s very well-orchestrated on the keyboards by Steve Hackett’s sound engineer Benedict Fenner and it also features Leslie-Miriam Bennett on keyboards too who both provide the backdrop for Hackett to play a BEAUTIFUL! sustained ambient solo on an electric guitar. The guitar he is using was previously owned by the guitarist Gary Moore who no doubt is missed. It’s the shortest track on the album and the only track that Hackett had no involvement in the writing and was written by both Fenner & Bennett and is a very tasty soothing way to put the album to bed.


To sum up The Night Siren by Steve Hackett I would say that its quite a strong album but also one that contains some synthetic aspects that work in a way and not so much in other ways sort of thing. Like I mentioned earlier in my review with how Hackett tends to be going into a more of a CINEMATIC! approach to paint pictures with his music. It’s the same approach that is applied to soundtracks for motion movies and many of those who work in that field use many virtual orchestral sounds and samples to make the music to which is called “Modelling”. Once they have the “Model” of the music they then present it to a real orchestra to play it. Only here it’s not at all and that is where it does tend to fall short. 

For example, most of the music is very much done and mixed by Roger King. As a keyboard player and musician King is in every inch as good as Hackett himself, he’s also got more of a head on his shoulders in many respects too. We also have one very capable string player in Christine Townsend and she is another excellent musician who plays both violin and viola very well. The problem is that they are making her part sound larger than life in the mix and her violin & viola is being mixed in with strings that King is also playing so it’s very hard to distinguish the real instruments from the synthetic aspects. 

Another example, is if you listen to Jethro Tull you will hear real violins, violas and cellos. On this album you will also find it hard to distinguish the double bass that Dick Driver is playing on a few of the tracks, and his double bass sounds more like an electric bass on most of the tracks he is playing on. The whole orchestral presentation is way too blown up to make the bigger picture.

For me personally keyboards are about piano’s, hammond organs, mellotrons and synthesizers and not replicating a full blown out orchestra and the fact that you also have some of the real instruments like the violin & viola and even the double bass that can be used like a cello. They are being mixed in with the virtual orchestration from the keyboards and the sound of the real instruments is being swept under the rug with the mix to some extent.

Thankfully the 5.1 mix does let you get to hear some of the real instrumentation which is more than I could say for the stereo mix. Actually, the orchestral parts work exceptionally well on the 5.1 mix and Roger King has done a very good job of it. 

I am not saying this new road Hackett has been going down more recently by incorporating film music into his music is by any means bad, and there is a ton of instruments thrown into the pot for King to mix which he has done a GREAT! job of mixing. His past 3 studio albums have been quite good but if I was to go back the 3 studio albums To Watch the Storms, Wild Orchids and Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth he made before them. I personally feel those albums are better because they contain less synthetic aspects sort of thing.


To conclude my review of Steve Hackett’s 24th studio album The Night Siren. It’s an album that offers quite a wide variety of styles. It’s not a solid album by any means but there is nothing remotely bad here either and it is quite a good album. It does not contain a lot of Hackett’s acoustic side like his previous album Wolflght does and I would say that his previous album is more of a winner on the acoustic side of things. There is a couple of good acoustic tracks and you will have to wait some 22 minutes to get to the first one which would be my personal favourite of them. But nevertheless, the album does have some well good written material and enough to make it marginally a bit better than his previous album Wolflight I feel. 

The Mediabook is well worth its price point and for surround FREAKS! like myself it’s well worth getting for the 5.1 mix. The bonus material is on the slim side but the documentary does give you some informative incite and is useful. My personal highlights from the album are as follows: “In the Skeleton Gallery“. “Other Side of the Wall“. “Fifty Miles from the North Pole“. “Inca Terra” and “El Niño“. 

The Puppeteer’s Not Your Friend…

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. Behind the Smoke. 6:57.
02. Martian Sea. 4:40.
03. Fifty Miles from the North Pole. 7:08.
04. El Niño. 3:51.
05. Other Side of the Wall. 4:00.
06. Anything But Love. 5:56.
07. Inca Terra. 5:53.
08. In Another Life. 6:07.
09. In the Skeleton Gallery. 5:09.
10. West to East. 5:14.
11. The Gift. 2:45.

Lee’s overall Complete Package Value Rating…

The Packaging Rating Score. 10/10.

The Price Point Rating Score. 10/10.

The Stereo Mix Rating Score. 10/10.

The 5.1 Mix Rating Score. 8/10.

The Bonus Material Rating Score. 5/10.

The Album Rating Score. 8/10.

2 thoughts on “Lee Speaks About Music… #140

  1. Just want to say something about the different publishing formats. I really don’t get it, why some bands and artists publish records with the CD in one package. If I decide to buy a record, I want to listen to the music on Vinyl and very likely I have set up a record player and not a CD player. The other way round it’s the same: Why should I want a record, when I listen to CDs? So personally I would pass on the CD, if I could get the record cheaper without the CD, but with a package like this I am forced to buy something, which is useless for me. Maybe there are people, who just buy the record for collecting purpose, put it in the shelf and listen to the CD, but this is something I can not understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see what you mean but not with how Steve Hackett releases his albums. You can buy his albums in all formats individually apart from the Mediabook that I brought which comes with a CD and a DVD and to get the 5.1 recording I personally want.there is no option to buy it on it’s own. But I do not mind that because the CD comes free anyway and it’s not as if he has charged for it. A good 5.1 recording on a DVD or Blu Ray is worth more money than a CD. It’s worth more than any Vinyl album in my opinion too. Even if you was to buy the blank discs you would pay more for the DVD and Blu Ray.

      Regarding the vinyl releases you seen in the picture in my review. I only showed you the Limited Edition to which you got the CD for free with that package. It was originally £17.99 and the vinyl album which is not Limited ad still available is also £17.99. That is still pretty cheap for vinyl these days and many other artists will charge you a lot more. Personally I cannot see why a vinyl album costs any more than a CD and you should be able to pick them both up for around £10 – £12 not the silly money they are charging for them.


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