FORMER Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has released many albums over the years but his latest - The Night Siren - is one of his most adventurous to date.

The message thorughout is that, in these times of strife and division, Steve believes the world needs more empathy and unity.

That message is also reflected in his choice of music and musicians, who Steve invited to join him in celebrating multicultural diversity and unity.

They include singers from Israel and Palestine, who both actively campaign to bring Jewish and Arabic people together.

There are also instruments from the USA and Iraq and a multiplicity of sounds, including the strains of Indian sitar and Middle Eastern tar and oud, the ethnic beauty of the Peruvian charango and the haunting Celtic Uilleann pipes.

There are some songs where the music is reminiscent of Led Zepellin's famous track Kashmir.

Steve is renowned for his ethereal guitar playing that, particularly in his Genesis days, was often quite a way back in the mix. On The Night Siren, his guitar is to the fore more than many of his albums I have heard.

There are ethereal moments but Steve is also quite happy to display his fretwork dexterity and virtuosity.

My favourite tracks are Fifty Miles from the North Pole and El Nino, which features some very Genesis-type guitar.

There's also a late 1960s playfulness about the second track, Martian Sea, which was surprising and unexpected.

Overall this is, in my view, a stronger album than his last outing, Wolflight, and one which will delight his many fans.