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Steven Wilson - Drive Home CD (album) cover

DRIVE HOME

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.98 | 124 ratings

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LakeGlade12
3 stars 3.4 Stars. And the Raven bandwagon drives on

This review is for the DVD/CD edition, but as that isn't an option at the time of writing the BluRay edition will have to do (they have the same content anyway). Its also worth saying that The Raven is one of my favourite albums of all time, so I had high expectations.

Drive Home is quite a diverse release. There are 2 music videos, 1 b-side, 1 alternative version and 4 live songs. It makes me think that SW is trying to tie up loose ends and release one more product that will appeal to anyone who bought The Raven. There is nothing wrong with that, it just makes the release a bit more disjointed and incoherent.

The DVD starts with the Drive Home video, which happens to be my favourite of the two videos. It does a great job telling the story while still matching the mood of the music. Its a sad story and despite the cartoon appearance and the use of fancy puppets there is no loss in emotional impact. I can't fault it.

The Raven That Refused To Sing video is also great, especially in appearance but I do have a few problems with it. The story is much more confused and harder to follow (what is with the demon randomly appearing and attacking the ghost?) and doesn't always match the music. One example of this is when the old man gets angry and shakes the cage what contains the raven. While the video has undergone a sudden violent mood change, the music remains unchanged which lessens the impact the listener is supposed to feel.

The Birthday Party (3:46) is a previously un-released track from The raven recording sessions. The story is about a girl who plays hide and seek on her birthday. She falls into some sort of coma in her hiding spot and dies. She comes back as a ghost to see her house has completely changed, as many decades have passed.

The song itself it mostly instrumental and in the vein of the intro of Luminol. There is some frantic jazz-fusion and a lot of time signature changes. Its an interesting track, but SW could have tripled its length to fully develop the ideas that are present. I like it but I'm glad it never made it onto the album as it would have been a weak link.

Next up is an orchestral version of The Raven. The first 4 minutes or so are almost identical to the original, the only difference is the ending which uses the orchestra instead of post-rock. Its pretty and worth listening if you want 7 minutes of atmospheric music, but I prefer the original.

The live concert performances are fantastic and are filmed at the high standards expected from Wilson. The band were well on form and I actually prefer the live intro of The Holy Drinker compared to the original. I do have 2 problems though. The first comes from the energetic flute solo on The Watchmaker, as you can barely hear it. However it can be heard on the CD version so some editing error must have occurred. It only lasts around 10s so its not a big problem. Another issue is the use of excessive flashing lights at the ending of The Holy Drinker. If you have epilepsy then you can't watch the ending because you will get a fit. I can't see any warning on the packaging which is why I'm mentioning it here.

3.5 stars is for me what this release deserves. But if you are so-so about the main album then this is not essential. So I will go for 3 stars. An enjoyable all round release and if you are a fan of the Raven then there is no reason not to get this. Its not quite as slick as some of his other releases, but at least it is cheaper! Recommended.

LakeGlade12 | 3/5 |

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