Originally released in 1978, this reissue is part of a series that comprises Hackett’s first four solo albums, all of which have been remastered and enlarged with bonus material. Hackett is one of the most underrated of the original progressive-rock guitarists, as well one of the few who has continued to grow artistically during the intervening years, and Please Don’t Touch presents his first solo work after departing Genesis the previous year. The disc is packed with Hackett’s signature sustained tones (often layered into orchestrations) and expressive guitar-synth textures, along with lovely steel- and nylon-string playing—all in service to inventive music that is dark and edgy, upbeat and straight-ahead, and hauntingly beautiful in turns. Highlights include the gorgeous ballad “How Can I” and the ominous “Icarus Ascending”—both featuring soulful vocals by Richie Havens—and the manic title track, which includes some engaging tapping (a technique that Hackett pioneered in the early ’70s). Three bonus tracks sweeten the package. Caroline. —Barry Cleveland
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