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Steven Wilson - Cover Version CD (album) cover

COVER VERSION

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.21 | 125 ratings

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LakeGlade12
2 stars 2.4 stars.

Cover Version is a album with quite a bit of backstory to it. It was originally released as 6 singles over the course of 2003-2010, each with a cover version and original song. They were the first pieces of music released under Wilson's own name while Porcupine Tree was his main band. Each song was made with a very short period of production time, therefore they do have a raw and demo feel to them.

With such little time being spent on the songs the quality of both the cover and original songs are mixed. Wilson himself admits some of these songs were not very good. The music for the most part is simplistic pop, although some Prog elements can be found which would be the seeds that created Insurgentes and GfD.

"Thank You" sets the general tone of the album with its gentle and slow acoustic guitar and piano driven tune. The song is focused entirely on Wilson's vocals and to be fair he does a solid job there, putting a good amount of emotion and gloom into the track. "Moment I Lost" is very similar to the previous song, its extremely slow and simple in its structure and has lots of melancholy. Again Wilson's vocals are centre stage.

To stop this review getting repetitive lets just say tracks 3, 4 and 10 are very similar to the above songs. People who are not big fans of Wilson's singing (which we have to admit has never been amazing) will get very fed up with these songs very quickly. You won't find a shred of Prog here.

Now onto the more interesting tracks. "A Forrest" is a fantastic cover from The Cure and has a lot of the ideas that appeared on Insurgentes. There is a lot of texture and electronics to be found. The song is repetitive in nature however over time more layers are added and the pounding darkness intensifies over time. "Four Trees Down" however sounds very similar to GfD and is full of that gloomy atmosphere which Wilson is an expert in. The "Guitar Lesson" uses the same structure of the boring pop tracks however this time he creates a lot of tension and malice though his voice and how he uses the instruments. It perfectly suits his style and really sounds like something Wilson himself would write. "The Unquiet Grave" has strong connections to his side project Bass Communion and is for the most part pure ambient music. The only thing that separates it from BC is the very gentle singing where he recites the lyrics of a very old traditional folk song. As someone who is not into BC this song does not leave any better lasting impression.

"Sign ' O The times" is the best song on the album by far. He combines the addictive and funky melody that Prince wrote with the furious blast of noise found on Insurgentes along with some metal riffs. The result sounds fantastic and worthy of his more recent material.

While the Prince cover is the best song, the last 2 songs make for the best "single". "Lord of the Reedy River" is a haunting song that sounds like a throwback to the old psychedelic PT days. "An End To End" follows the atmospheric theme perfectly while finishing the album on a high note.

Cover Version has a good amount of interesting ideas that would help create great albums, however there is even more weak material to get though in order to get to those gems. I would only recommend it to dedicated solo SW fans (no necessarily PT fans even) so 2 stars is all I can give.

LakeGlade12 | 2/5 |

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