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Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. CD (album) cover

HAND. CANNOT. ERASE.

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.30 | 1403 ratings

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LearsFool
2 stars Do I have to be the one to rain on the parade? Well, I remember the run up to the album's release, when some singles were released and most gulped; none of what was being shown sounded inspired. The promised concept and electronic rock sounded tasty, but we weren't getting anything that lived up to expectations of the great Steven Wilson making a prog stew out of those ingredients.

Actually listening to the final product started out great, as "First Regret" sounded much like and as good as the trip rock Archive put out in January with "Restriction", and flowed naturally into "3 Years Older", which came out as a neat piece of modern crossover prog that weaved various styles into a ten minute extravaganza. But, alas, that was the end of the fantastic, well-executed part of the record. What we get beyond the opening combo is some decent, nice, unoffensive and by-the-numbers modern cross. Turns out those previews were representative of most of the result. Again, uninspired. Also, once again for a post-"Fear of A Blank Planet" offering SWilson has bungled a concept beyond repair. What about any of the lyrics does it have to do with the idea he was supposedly building off of I have no clue. Not much I can say about any of the latter nine tracks in particular beyond the above, and understandably.

So, after the masterful "Grace for Drowning" and "The Raven That Refused To Sing" we get a piddling album. His use of electronic rock has been bested by the aforementioned crossover underdogs Archive, and non-prog bands the world over have proved themselves better at making concept albums than two out of the three tries Wilson has given. While this is very hard to call an out-and-out bad album, it's a very poor showing and only for a good chunk of fans. I also round down since the next time I listen to this in whole - for more than the opener - will be a long, long time from now. I'm even left half-dreading any possible Porcupine Tree reunions, since Steve seems to be charting a career trajectory that will mirror itself going forward, leading to an inevitable Son of The Incident. One last thing I wonder is if his naming of two tracks as regrets is a hidden apology note and as prophetic as the track called "Routine".

LearsFool | 2/5 |

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