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STEVEN WILSON

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steven Wilson picture
Steven Wilson biography
Steven John Wilson - Born 3 November 1967 (Kingston upon Thames, London, UK)

STEVEN WILSON, perhaps most widely known for his role as the frontman for the popular act PORCUPINE TREE , is an artist from the UK who, through his various side projects, has spanned a vast number of musical ideas and concepts. Some of the styles he has been known to utilize are heavy prog, psychedelic, electronica, post-rock, ambient music, drone, metal, and art rock. Furthermore, WILSON is intensely focused on production values, dynamic mixing and mastering, and all other sorts of building albums that sound best in high-quality systems. In short, WILSON has always been an artist that appeals to audiophiles and fans of meticulously produced music. This shows up strongly in each of his bands and projects, but it plays even more of a role in his solo efforts.

Photo by Lasse Hoile

Though some of his earliest musical recordings were demos that predated even Porcupine Tree, his solo releases did not truly start appearing until his "Cover Version" singles began in 2003. Essentially releasing one a year, each "Cover Version" contained a particularly unconventional song that WILSON chose to reproduce and one original song by WILSON. Also, in 2004, WILSON put out his experimental electronic album "Unreleased Electronic Music Vol. 1." Neither the "Cover Version" singles nor "Unreleased Electronic Music" feature any other performers, aside from some input from THEO TRAVIS on the latter.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2013 ⭐

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2011 ⭐

That trend changed at the end of 2008, however, when WILSON released his first full-length, proper solo album, "Insurgentes." Featuring, among others, PORCUPINE TREE drummer Gavin Harrison, Prog bass legend TONY LEVIN, current DREAM THEATER keyboardist JORDAN RUDESS, and saxophonist/flautist THEO TRAVIS, "Insurgentes" proves rather quickly that it is not simply another ambient or electronic release. Toying with many of the styles that can be seen in PORCUPINE TREE, "Insurgentes" is a mature, laid-back album marked by less metal and more noise than PT's later albums. WILSON has stated that the album draws a lot o...
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STEVEN WILSON discography


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STEVEN WILSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 1073 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.19 | 1794 ratings
Grace For Drowning
2011
4.28 | 2147 ratings
The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
2013
4.30 | 1582 ratings
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2015
3.52 | 494 ratings
4 ?/strong>
2016
3.62 | 450 ratings
To The Bone
2017
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Future Bites
2021

STEVEN WILSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.35 | 189 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012
4.60 | 42 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2017
4.46 | 39 ratings
Home Invasion (In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall)
2018

STEVEN WILSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.54 | 146 ratings
Insurgentes - The Movie
2010
4.61 | 313 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2012
4.67 | 58 ratings
Home Invasion : In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
2018

STEVEN WILSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.83 | 115 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
3.00 | 5 ratings
Tape Experiments 1985 - 86
2010
3.22 | 127 ratings
Cover Version
2014
3.42 | 77 ratings
Transience
2015
4.20 | 5 ratings
To The Bone: Deluxe Edition
2017

STEVEN WILSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 49 ratings
Cover Version
2003
3.64 | 47 ratings
Cover Version II
2004
3.72 | 47 ratings
Cover Version III
2005
3.45 | 56 ratings
Unreleased Electronic Music
2005
3.83 | 44 ratings
Cover Version IV
2006
3.44 | 48 ratings
Cover Version V
2008
4.47 | 77 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.51 | 61 ratings
Vapour Trail Lullaby
2010
3.61 | 55 ratings
Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
2010
3.33 | 9 ratings
Demos
2010
4.04 | 49 ratings
Postcard
2011
3.80 | 25 ratings
Cut Ribbon
2012
3.99 | 125 ratings
Drive Home
2013
4.38 | 8 ratings
Luminol / The Watchmaker
2013
4.20 | 15 ratings
Happiness III
2016
3.52 | 25 ratings
Last Day of June (Game Soundtrack)
2017
2.92 | 12 ratings
Permanating
2017
3.22 | 9 ratings
Song of I
2017
3.64 | 11 ratings
Pariah
2017
3.27 | 11 ratings
The Same Asylum as Before
2017
3.50 | 8 ratings
Refuge
2017
3.00 | 9 ratings
Nowhere Now
2017
3.32 | 19 ratings
How Big the Space
2018
2.64 | 11 ratings
Eminent Sleaze
2020
2.57 | 14 ratings
12 Things I Forgot
2020
2.90 | 10 ratings
The B-Sides Collection
2020

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Insurgentes by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.83 | 1073 ratings

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Insurgentes
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars The very first and most radical. Crazy, creepy, uncompromising, brave, desperate. Underline all of the above. Thank God, in our time (it was in 2008) there are madmen who can leave their "comfort zones" and release a hard and unexpected disc. And exactly the disc, for Steven Wilson is a vinyl devotee. The band's approach to writing music is more typical of the 70s rather than the 00s. Insurgentes is the most laconic of Steve's albums: here fears and hopes are expressed by the music, and the lyrics are just a spectacular frame for the record. Another plus of the album is its incredible improvisational component - you never know where the improvisation is, and where - the well-adjusted hourly long-term studio work. Everything is so vivid and high quality that it is simply impossible to see the edge. Furthermore, recording is practically completely devoid of "semitones": where one minute ago there were quiet and alarming mutters, sharp eerie overloads and breakdowns immediately burst in. In general, the entire album is a sharp jump into the psychological abyss. No, Steve did not fall under drugged fear from the window of his house, like the legendary Robert Wyatt from Soft Machine, but emotionally collapsed even worse and deeper. However, there is no evidence of Wilson's mental disorder in nature, since he was not noticed for using drugs or alcohol. But he was a terrible innovator and even cynically indifferent, which arouses even more interest in this frank album. The recording is a kind of creepy, caricatured outsider confession of a man who has severed all ties with the outside world. From the first to the last note, the disc sounds like one terrible hysterical cry of a man stepping into the unknown, into his fears. Although, perhaps, this is an attempt to escape from the dungeon of the inner nightmare. Everything is taken to the extreme here, while maintaining clarity and conceptual dimension. I hate to be in the shoes of the person who could have composed "Abandoner", but it's great to have the chance to listen to that! Constriction, fear and pursuit, smoothly turning into something indefinite, light, end in an icy drone nightmare, where the guitar is overloaded so much that it leaves the musical plane. It is followed by the heavy tread "Salvaging" - a more traditional continuation of the previous song. The author spits out each phrase with such anger that it feels like he has finally reached the "assemblage point", adding loads of guitars and heavy drum shots. It is followed by "Veveno Para Las Hadas (Poison for Fairies), almost hovering above the clouds in an icy void, a sad elegy that expresses the autistic alienation of a hero who lists the simple absurdities of being. the role of a brilliant visionary showing the savagery and catastrophe of the future ... It was followed by the magnum opus, which for a long time became a kind of "can opener" for opening performances. Eerie incremental improvisation, where each of the musicians can have a full time, showing their skills and ruthlessness. The density of music, drums, guitars and keyboards, is worthy of the best times of the Canterbury scene. Furthermore, the experienced combat machine gunner Gavin Harrison, from a subtle improviser, in a few minutes turns into a ruthless machine capable of smashing a studio to pieces, not to mention a drum kit: it seems that he is tearing his hands to pieces, and his life depends on his pace! The musicians accelerate so much that everything turns into an eerie rumble, which is cut off by Steve's quiet whisper ... The text here makes no sense: the track is in its purest form a tribute to the rock avant-garde of the 70s. True, it is skillfully woven too to the canvas of the album. No, this is not an electrical mess: only very smart and advanced musicians can do such things. And in fact, the album closer "Get All You Deserve" - ​​"Get a fascist grenade", I would leave this free translation, as it is better suited to this context.

The composition begins with terrible radio interference, recorded so well that you immediately feel the feeling of a huge space where something bad is happening ... Then primitive piano sounds creep in to the point of banality - and Steven's bored voice, paired with classic electric organs. "Get what you deserve" - ​​he repeats this to the music, which becomes more diverse, scarier and harder, until it reaches the point of complete rupture and dissolves into the noise. This is a kind of mini-album in one song. Like a look through the eyes of a person who is going to destroy a lot of people with him. This is a vendetta to the world, senseless and merciless. It closed many of Wilson's concerts when he stood in the smoke in a gas mask. Under the bright red light - it looked ominously cool! A person who is plotting something unkind in the world where something is wrong. Everything is hopeless - death, fumes, emptiness ... And the album ends with a quiet piano ballad "Insurgentes" - like an awakening from all this nightmare, albeit vague and pensive. Well, I almost forgot the "elephant" - the superhit from Steven Wilson titled "Harmony Corine", with an incredibly beautiful melody and a gorgeous surreal video, I really hope that this is not what awaits us all. The song is kind of a promo video for the album, and it features everything that is on this gorgeous and dark record. There is not much optimism here, but the spirit of the disc corresponds to the image of the author: this is how he is this gray, ordinary-looking man with glasses, with a voice like sour milk, although not devoid of singing charm. Complex, scary, black to unpleasant, condensed, but certainly talented and attractive, the album belongs to the big world of rock music. Despite the description, it may seem that the recording of "Insurgentes" as a whole is some kind of inaudible experimental routine, but this unpredictable disc is skillfully inscribed in classical and melodic forms, even orthodox, if I may say so. The cover of the album also deserves attention, reflecting the idea of ​​depersonalization by war and, therefore, was published without any identification marks. Who is this erased and alienated person? He has no name, no destiny, no belonging. Victim or Executioner? Steve himself or someone else? Someone very inconspicuous, but extremely dangerous. Or maybe any of us wearing a mask. A creature from a shattered world, rapidly disappearing into darkness. Well, the lineup of the "rebels" is awe-inspiring: Gavin Harrison - drums (Porcupine Tree 2002-2010, The Pineapple Thief 2015 - today). Jordan Rudess - keyboards (Dream Theater) Tony Levin - bass, stick (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) And of course the maestro himself - voice, guitars, synthesizers, programming and much more. However, it is better to listen to it yourself once.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 1582 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars "The Dark Side Of The Moon" level album. To date, the pinnacle of Steven Wilson's tremendous creative journey. Unfortunately, the last album leaves much to be desired, and the freshest opuses are hardly worthy of any attention at all. Heavy, airy, powerful, energetic, dirty, crystal-clear, rough, melodic, beautiful, scary, splendid, ugly. Probably, any epithets can be balanced in it, despite the fact that this is a dense conceptual canvas. Shake, this is the pinnacle beyond which neither Steve nor neo-progressive in general will ever rise. In terms of scope and beauty, it simply has no competitors. The recording dates back to 2015, and here we are talking about a woman found dead in her own apartment, but not just dead, but forgotten, in front of the TV on. As the booklet says, the story was real. The album rather resembles a person's diaries, his routine experiences, both adolescent and mature. Steve shows himself as a poet of the highest quality and as a conceptual artist, touching on the problems of abandonment and alienation in the modern world. Absorption of a routine that interferes with development and self-improvement. The main line is the author's worries about his unrealized human potential, and the second side is short human memory. The ability of people to forget quickly those who were once near. The voice is in great shape and the lyrics blend perfectly with incredible and non-trivial music. Which is revealed in ALL facets: from heavy metal to airy, almost intangible angelic chants, coupled with a huge palette of musical instruments. From acoustic guitars to hard syncopated metalized drums. Everything is extremely incredible and laconic, and does not contain a single passing note, let alone a composition. What I love Steven Wilson for is his humanity and ability to turn a rather soulless and cold direction into something clear and tangible, while not slipping into the vulgarity of "commonplaces". Isn't this genius? To describe each track, whole notebooks are needed, and it is better to hear everything yourself. But you can dwell on the basic. The leitmotif of the album can be considered "Perfect Life", which is absolutely not like anything at all, but it contains a simple and terrible thought: "Each of us has our own Perfect Life", and we are the creators of our alienation. Towards the end of the song, the chorus of "We Have Got a Perfect Life" grows into a huge number of voices, as if every one of hundreds of people is in this "perfect" state. This is the very creepy "Perfect Imperfect", catching everyone in their chains and forcing them to forget about everything and everyone. First, opera singer Ninet Tayeb testifies in a cold voice about her dead and forgotten sister. And it is no coincidence in the phrase "Hand. Cannot. Erase." after each word a dot - it turns out that life and destiny can be deleted from our consciousness, because each of us has our own perfect life. Well, the composition "Transience", in strength and beauty, is incomparable with anything, except perhaps with the best albums of the 70s. Powerful, tragic, eerie, majestic. This is a whole rock opera in 12 minutes, which reflects a whole universe of ideas and styles. Well, the ending of the album "Happy Returns", Merry Christmas. An unsent letter found near the deceased. However, no matter how I describe this album, all the metaphors pale in comparison with the original source. Better to hear it once. p.s. We have got, we have got a perfect life...
 The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.28 | 2147 ratings

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The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars Some kind of a sluggish tired autumn this year. Very entropic and bursting - people are immersed in their problems and in many ways disoriented. Feeling of inner spiritual mess.

Yes, and I somehow undertake the writing of this review with a feeling of deep melancholy, because you cannot let her win - you need to do something, otherwise everything will stop again ...

Before us is Steven Wilson's album titled "The Raven That Refused To Sing" - the third one in his solo discography. The disc was released at the beginning of 2013. In those years, I simply did not perceive such music. But later I listened to this disc over and over again till it was completely "driven". As a result, it has lost its former emotional strength for me. Perhaps this gloomy autumn will allow me to correlate my inner state with the presented music.

It is the most accessible LP from Wilson, making it the most popular of all discography. To begin with, Steve strengthened the song component, while not forgetting about the "progressive" part. Only now everything is clearer and does not flow from one to another. The record is produced by none other than Alan Parsons, who took care of the sound while working on The Dark Side of The Moon. The record refers in form and sound to the music of the seventies and bears (judging by the booklet) the character of a dark comic book.

The title track "Raven That Refused To Sing" is a magnificent piano ballad about an old man trying to make a crow sing, which is supposedly the spirit of his deceased sister. Steve sings at the end of the song in a hysterical, dark voice "Sing to me ...", which can move you to tears. This can hardly leave anyone indifferent.

The sentimental and melancholic "Drive Home", which tells the story of the loss of a man of his beloved, is stuffed with a great long guitar solo inside. In fact, the song is a continuation of the song "Heartattack in a Layby" from the album titled "In Absentia", only less successful, but with a great video.

My favorite track is "Holy Drinker".

In principle, apart from delight, all the songs evoke nothing, as well as the fantastically beautiful edition of the disc.

You just need to hear it, but it is better to buy it into the collection

 The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.28 | 2147 ratings

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The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by boa

2 stars I really tried to listen to this with a positive starting point. I've heard so much good things about this album.. but i really can't understand what the fuzz is about. There are good parts, and the actual sound is good - even though it does sound too sterile and modern in my opinion. It doesn't really help though, since the compositions and melodies are rather mediocre. Sure, the playing is very good - technical and so on, but take for instance the drums: just the sound it so sterile and soulless that it basically could be a drum machine. There's no signature sound, it just sounds like all other technically good drummers these days.. For me this goes for every element of the record. Take the mellotron; it sounds like a cheap and bad sample - all in perfect pitch, which for me takes away the magic of the instrument. The positive thing about the vocals, is that the English pronunciation is good (dah), and that it doesn't have the embarrassing blues heavyness many of these modern prog groups have. Also i like that it's not super positive, like The Flower Kings and so on, which often makes me wanna vomit in my mouth. That being said, this is all rather sad and almost emo, without any light and shade, just shade.

To me this sounds like Kenny G goes prog (with reference to that annoying soprano sax all over the place).

 The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.28 | 2147 ratings

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The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗗𝘂𝗼

For a duo like Alan Parsons and Steven Wilson to team up in the 21st century, that's a real 21st century duo. Alan Parsons' Production, Steven Wilson's masterful writing ability, and all the masters of their instruments here. Adam Holzman of Mile Davis? Nick Beggs? Marco Minneman? You got great player's here. This is Prog to the max, Steven Wilson's songwriting on this album was absolutely top notch, and with Alan Parsons... having him supervise the writing and the production, this has to be an album worth the top 100 on ProgArchives. It's a fluid album from start to finish, the harmonies are absolutely top notch, the production is incredible, the musicianship is off the charts, and of course the songwriting is great. 'Luminol' is a 10/10 song, all the playing is incredible, the song is fluid, the sax is just incredible, the flutes, its Prog mastery.

'Drive Home' is a more song rock piece with progressive elements, the vocals and vocal harmonies are of only Steven Wilson genius, the clean tone guitar is very tasteful, and of course the fingerstyle guitar playing is everything it needed to be. The lyrics of course are very depressing in concept, the music video does show the story of the lyrics so please watch the video, its amazing. Steven Wilson challenged himself to write a soft rock tune with prog elements, but it had to be catchy enough to be a hit single, and of course it had amazing time signatures. The recording quality of the song is impressive but Alan Parsons is behind it so I'm not too impressed because... well... Alan Parsons.

'The Holy Drinker' was much more of a playing driven song with a much darker subject matter. Alan Parsons on slide guitar, and the band just trying to make such the song was of modern prog genius. This song makes you wonder if prog has changed much at all, Modern Prog takes so much from the Prog of the seventies that you wonder if Prog Rock should be just renamed to Art Rock. I love the approach of this song, the harsh lyrics, the tonality, the production is (again) through the roof, and (of course) the songwriting is dark and amazing. Steven Wilson is a fantastic songwriter (when he wants to be).

'The Pin Drop' was very similar to the previous song in terms of songwriting style, very dark, and playing based, but it has more of a harmony based songwriting style. Steven wanted a song that could show off his harmonies and that's what he did. Very masterful, very compelling, very harsh, and very dark, fantastic lyrics as well. What can I say? This song just fits the album perfectly, it flows well, it has emotion, it has all the elements to be prog. I love this song, its unbelievably fantastic, it's immaculately played.

'The Watchmaker', so melodic, so emotional, so many harmonies, so many acoustic guitars... where did it all go wrong for Steven... my idol... but now gone pop. Steven, you had something gorgeous here, I just wish you stuck to this. The harmonies are exploring differences, they are gorgeous, this is really gorgeous music. Everyone is playing to their max, the songwriting is 100/10, and that isn't a typo. I mean it. This song has my top 20 spot of all time, its so beautiful, its so well written, and t its hard for me to play on drums, so from a musicians perspective, this song is incredible. Steven, from one of your biggest fans, seriously... I wish you stuck to this. By The Way... I loved the reference to YYZ by Rush, very clever Steven.

The Title Track... here we go... the absolute pinnacle of the soft rock mix with Prog. This song brings tears to your eye everytime, the lyrics are unbelievably depressing, it's a soft song with a very emotional background. The violin on this song just works and blends perfectly with the tone of the song. I really do wish Steven stuck to this structure, this songwriting style, this beautiful lyrical mood, the harmonies, etc.

Overall this album is beautiful, its Steven Wilson's masterpiece. I just wish he stuck by this style, he would've been an influence to much more, and he would've become a legend... even though he already is considered a legend. Well done Steven, you made a beautiful album, one that brings emotion.

 4 ?by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.52 | 494 ratings

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4 ?/span>
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Corcoranw687

3 stars I remember cautiously getting excited for this release despite it's short length, which is somewhat comical now as his 2020 full length album appears to have a runtime of 39:42, just 3 minutes longer than this "mini album". However it contains mostly outtakes and a recording of a Porcupine Tree song, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I remember listening and being disappointed, and not giving it much a chance after that. So, with nothing but free time for a few weeks, I am going back to albums I didn't give a chance to. I've heard it said that Wilson's demos are the quality some people release as final products, but this recording is a bit different as we have some live recordings as well. The opening and closing tracks were recorded on tour in 2015 and touched up in studio, and I wouldn't have known the difference.

The best song is opening track 'My Book of Regrets', beginning like a standard pop track as bits of strong musicianship begin to pop out bit by bit. Nick Beggs takes a minute to shine as always, and we have a wild solo from Dave Kilminster, followed by the best riff on the album. The band slows it down here, we get a second guitar solo undoubtedly from Steven this time, before returning to the beginning section. This could be one of my favourites from the entire SW catalogue, truly accessible prog. We follow with a dreary outtake from 'Raven', this would have worked as part of a larger song for sure but I understand why it wasn't included. It reminds me more of 'Grace for Drowning' than 'Raven' as well. 'Happiness III' has an interesting chorus and a brief appearance from Guthrie Govan (his only one on this collection) and a very curious vocal from Wilson in some verses, you'll know it when you hear it. 'Sunday Rain Sets In' is a much better instrumental, going through several moods and sections. Spacey, jazzy and slow in a way that doesn't get boring, featuring Theo Travis' flute in that incredible ambient way, this was a major surprise for me when revisiting. 'Vermillioncore' gives off Porcupine Tree vibes as well, and is more designed for live performance as the visual of Beggs on the Stick and Wilson on bass jamming this out is a sight. Our riff gets some guitar doubling it before a keyboard showcase for much of the third minute. Finally 'Don't Hate Me', an excellent rendition instrumentally, although I find Ninet singing the chorus to be a bit awkward honestly. I never liked the lyrics to this song and is kind of funny to hear someone different sing them. Instrumentally it's superior to the studio recording(not quite the awesome live version with Gavin Harrison however), I love the middle and Theo's solo as always. Adam Holzman also kills it here, a much stronger and jazzier solo(I believe I read once that Richard Barbeiri hates jazz). This was much better than I recall, I bet I was upset and would have given this 2 stars on release but it's 3.5 stars today

 4 ?by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.52 | 494 ratings

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4 ?/span>
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 4?/em> has been described as a stopgap release; as a means of Steven Wilson to release a handful of songs which didn't fit on his more conceptual albums of the time; and even as a proper, though short, Wilson album.

In the 1980s, record companies would sometimes release a song (often an extended version) on 12-inch, 33 RPM vinyl, accompanying it with a handful of odds and ends of interest primarily to fans of the artist. These were nominally 'twelve-inch singles' (or 'maxi singles') but were really pretty different from most twelve-inchers because they often included non-dance tracks (not to mention that they weren't singles). But they also weren't mini-albums, insofar as they were focused on a single song. Marillion and Frankie Goes to Hollywood both used this format to release remnants; as the CD became the primary format, the Smashing Pumpkins and Prince (a Wilson favorite) did the same.

Anyway, that's how 4?/em> strikes me. Specifically, the centerpiece is the opening track, 'My Book of Regrets.' It's a nice crossover rock tune with pop sensibility. Somehow it stays interesting over nine and a half minutes. At half that length, 'Happiness III' takes a while to get going, eventually approaching (though never quite achieving) catchy-rock territory ?la 'My Book of Regrets.' 'Happiness III' sounds like a b-side or an outtake (the latter of which is, as I understand, exactly what it was). The other vocal piece is the closer, 'Don't Hate Me.' Here's the perfect song for this type of release: a remake of a Wilson song originally recorded by Porcupine Tree. The value added is that this rendition is based on a live recording, and is arranged as a duet.

The relatively uninteresting instrumentals 'Year of the Plague' and 'Sunday Rain Sets In' seem to have been ideas worth recording, perhaps, but I can see why they were left off of The Raven That Refused to Sing and Hand. Cannot. Erase., respectively. 'Sunday Rain' shifts gears abruptly at 2:55, which must be when the rain sets in for fifteen seconds or so. Nice symbolism. The other instrumental, 'Vermillioncore,' is much more interesting, moving through a handful of disparate sections, one bordering on fusion and another on metal.

In short, 4?/em> is effectively a 'My Book of Regrets' maxi-single: one strong track with a patchwork of curios. This one's really a fans-only product, although for those interested in modern crossover prog, the standalone download of 'My Book of Regrets' would be worth the US$0.99 for which it's currently retailing on amazon.com.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 1582 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I thought the great quality of The Raven that Refused to Sing was hard to achieve. But Steven Wilson proved me wrong!

Because Hand. Cannot. Erase is just another masterpiece of modern prog-rock which showcases the personality of this author and his great ability to create different moods, atmospheres and at the same time cohesiveness in the very same album.

The tracks are catchy, very varied, with a splendid songwriting and crystal clear production. What more could we ask for?

Best Tracks: I really cannot tell. The whole album is just wonderful! Nevertheless, 3 Years Older, Perfect Life, Home Invasion and Happy Returns are my favorite here.

Conclusion: Steven Wilson gave another lesson of his mastery with this wonderful record, which managed to achieve the quality of his previous masterpiece and even surpasses it sometimes.

Far away are dubious times of Insurgentes and Grace for Drowning. Hand. Cannot. Erase. is just an almost flawless prog record which every fan of this kind of music should listen and enjoy many, many times.

My rating: *****

 Grace For Drowning by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 1794 ratings

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Grace For Drowning
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Meltdowner
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Steven Wilson's second album is such a fantastic listening experience, almost like a ritual for me. I always play it in Surround sound in a pitch dark room and let myself plunge into the music.

I find the use of dynamics and silence for dramatic purposes very well done and is particularly refreshing in these brick-walled production days.

There aren't many tracks that stand out from the rest, except maybe "Deform To Form A Star", since they work better in the context of the album. For me this album is like a journey where I find myself going deeper and deeper into the abyss only to find light at the bottom.

Compared to his other works, this album is probably easier to dismiss due to its brooding nature and length but it's incredibly rewarding on multiple listens.

 Tape Experiments 1985 - 86 by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
3.00 | 5 ratings

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Tape Experiments 1985 - 86
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars By 2010, Steven Wilson's many fans were demanding to hear the early recordings that he had made and Wilson was at first reluctant to release them, considering them experiments that were not supposed to be heard by the general public. But the demand to hear the early Porcupine Tree tapes, the even earlier recording from "Altamont" and "Karma" and some of the bizarre recordings that he made while "goofing around" with his audio equipment.

This collection called "Tape Experiments 1985 - 1986" brings together some of this material. Originally, this was meant to be sent out to those who pre-ordered the "Insurgents" DVD. That idea was trashed and instead the CD single "Vapour Trail Lullabye" was sent out instead. The music from this album ended up being offered as a free WAV download in 2010 and was later made available physically as a vinyl only edition on the Tone Float label.

This music is definitely strange and eerie, not what you would expect If you have only heard his more recent music. However, Steven was very much into experimenting with sound and psychedelic music. The first track here is the 10 minute soundscape called "Cries of Lucia". This is made up of vocal recordings into a 4 track cassette player that was made by Wilson's father. He layered his voice through a tape delay machine. The result is something my wife calls Halloween music. It is definitely a spooky sound, with various odd noises and textures mixed, processed and placed together into a long soundscape. Wilson said the track was inspired bye Luciano Berio's piece for electronics and voice called "Visage" which was also sampled in a No-man track called "Sinister Jazz". It is also part of the sonic track from "IEM" called "The Gospel According to IEM".

The remaining tracks are shorter and don't go past the 6 minute mark. "I May Be Some Time" utilizes a lot of Farfisa Organ and recording with variable speeds into the same 4-track cassette machine. It is based on David Bedford's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". It has the same queasy and eerie sounds as that album. "Constellation" was also recorded on the 4 track machine and was inspired by Tangerine Dreams "Zeit". It uses ambient textures made by guitar, moog and a string synthesizer. "Them No. 1" is one of my favorites off this album. It uses the Moog Prodigy and a String Synthesizer with sound effects and radio transmissions mixed in and chopped up.

"The Life and Times of Signmund Freud" is based on concrete techniques inspired by classical - modern music Steven was listening to at the time. He uses a 2-track analog tape as the recording format. The sounds that were recorded were dubbed and overdubbed onto the tape and then cut up into many smaller pieces and re-edited. Wilson considered this a hit and miss technique that took a lot of experimenting around with. He only kept the noises and sounds that worked claiming that it took him 2 weeks to create 4 minutes of music. "Wood Between Worlds" is a live performance directly made to a 2 track analog tape. This one is very atmospheric and peaceful with natural sounds surrounding a Farfisa Organ passed through a tape delay. The natural sounds were recorded from his parent's garden using a mic he hung outside his window. The last track is "Seen". It was recorded onto a 4-track tape machine. He overdubbed various guitar layers through a tape delay. Wilson thinks it was influenced by John Martyn's "Small Hours".

This music will definitely not appeal to several people. It is definitely experimental and nothing like his more current material. If you like the experimental music of Robert Fripp or some of the many Progressive Electronic artists, then you will like this, but there are some tracks that might seem rather amateurish. Remember, when this was recorded, Wilson was pretty much an amateur, but he was developing himself into the amazing musician that he is. I find the recording quite intriguing, but it isn't something I would listen to a lot, except when I am in a mood for something different. These are pretty much experimental soundscapes, and if you listen to them immersively, they can generate some strange images in your mind. Wilson always had a knack for this however, and at least you aren't bogged down by disorganized meandering so much since most of the tracks are manageable. Mostly fans or collectors will be interested in this, but I believe those interested in electronic music will find it intriguing. If there was more wasted material on this album, I would consider it a 2 star album, but since it is smartly edited and not so meandering, I can easily see that it deserves 3 stars.

Thanks to Dean for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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