Over the course of the next 18 years, he made a number of solo albums, and had a brief stint in the supergroup of guitarists, "GTR". He always found critical success, and moderate commercial success, but fans always clamored for a return to Genesis. However, his old group had gone away from the classical-based prog rock that had been the norm during his tenure; they also achieved massive commercial success. When Phil Collins announced his departure from the band, it suddenly seemed there was a way for the return to happen. Fans no longer had the band itself to follow, and a void was left in the hearts of its' fans.
So Hackett decided he would return. It was, after all, HIS music. But there was still the connection to the other members, he didn't want to simply replay the old music in the old way. Rather, he wantedto pay tribute to his former band. So he put together a selection of songs from his time with the band, including the unfinished song "Deja Vu" and his own new composition, "Valley of the Kings". Then he proceeded to put a new spin on these songs, something that would differentiate them from the original recordings. Some of his choices were quite...interesting.
Hackett has always been a virtuoso musician, so it is no surprise that the music on the album is played at a very high level. But that isn't really the story of the album. The introduction to "The Fountain Of Salmacis" gets the listener very excited for what is to come. And then, the voice of a 'monster' kicks in. A deep, raspy voice begins the song, immediately making the listener wonder what they hit into. Thankfully, it doesn't last the entire track, but the damage is done. It's impossible to take it seriously after that.
An all-time favorite track of Genesis fans is "I Know What I Like". Here, Hackett plays it like a lounge act, sapping all the energy from the song, reducing is musical layers to dull, hollow one-dimensional elevator music, more suited to an opening act in Vegas than closing the show of a progressive rock pioneer.
One of the more interesting tracks is "Waiting Room Only", a reworking of "The Waiting Room" from the "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" album. This is maybe the only track that progresses from the original instead of regresses. It involves a lot of different sources of sounds from the standpoint of the protagonist, and did result in an interesting composition.
Perhaps the album achieved the goal of posting tribute to the music instead of copying it. Hackett favorite "Los Endos" includes a fun introduction, and is one of the more faithful sings to its' predecessor, though that may be due to the fact that there are no vocals in the song. In the true spirit of progression, the songs try to evolve. The problem is that it doesn't progress, it just changes. Even new songs "Valley of the Kings" and "Deja Vu" are fine, but just unexciting. The album is just off, like Hackett tried too hard to avoid just repeating what he had already done. It turns out that is exactly what fans wanted... it would take Hackett another 15 years and another Genesis breakup or two to realize this. Unless you are a true Steve Hackett fan, this album is completely skippable. Skip it and go to Genesis Revisited II, or even better one of the two Genesis Revisited live albums he recently released. On those, all monster voices, lounge singers and pretenses of avoiding his Genesis legacy are gone; he fully embraces all he trues so hard to avoid here.