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


Steven Wilson


Crossover Prog

4.28 | 1679 ratings

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3 stars After the flood of raving reviews and my own excitement for the new album and concert last year, I think I have a much clearer impression of the album now. I didn't find it particularly great before and my appreciation of it lessened since.

First Regret/3 Years Older sounded fantastic at first listen with its energic Squire-ish bass and joyful guitars but soon I realised it's twice as long as it should be, so after 5/6 minutes I'm already waiting for the end.

After this odd start come the two worst tracks of the album in my opinion, the title track and Perfect Life. I honestly can't think of anything positive to say about these 9 minutes, but at least it's not bad enough to skip them (for now).

Fortunately, it gets much better right after: Routine is one of the best tracks of the album. It has an interesting progression, great vocals from Ninet Tayeb and a heartwarming ending.

The next one, Home Invasion, is pretty good too, a Rhodes-led groovy song which is followed by the instrumental track Regret #9, my favourite one. The synth and guitar solos are epic!

Transience is an acoustic ballad that reminds me of some similar tracks from later Porcupine Tree albums. Thankfully, it's a short one.

Ancestral suffers from the same evil as the first track (even more, because I'm not as patient after 50 minutes). It still has a very moving guitar solo from Guthrie Govan, four minutes in, and Theo Travis makes a surprise visit.

The album ends with Happy Returns/Ascendent Here On, another Pop Rock song. Not bad, but a forgettable ending.

Conclusion: I have mixed feelings about this album, since half of it is quite good but the other not so much. With that amount of good musical ideas, I think it could be a fantastic 35/40 minute album, but instead it's way too long. I'm glad I bought it on Blu Ray though, since the sound quality improves the music a bit and alternating between the stereo/surround mixes will make me spin this album more times.

3 stars.

Meltdowner | 3/5 |


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