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

HAND. CANNOT. ERASE.

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.30 | 1007 ratings

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Magnum Vaeltaja
3 stars I'm a bit late to the game in terms of listening to this album but modern prog is hardly something I've been making an effort to keep caught up with.

What I found after finally getting around to hear Steven Wilson's work for the first time (aside from his remasters of 70's classics) is an album that delightfully exceeded my expectations. The production is top notch, as can be expected, and the music isn't too shoddy either. The album contains a mix between shorter, more pop-oriented tunes and longer symphonic prog tracks with a good balance between electric and acoustic textures. The songwriting is strong and some of the solos are quite emotionally moving, especially on Home Invasion/Regret #9, which I believe to be the peak of the album. As with many modern prog releases, "Hand. Cannot. Erase." suffers from the typical problems. The biggest is something that modern prog bands are awful for, which is excess. There are some moments that can be trimmed shorter and quite a bit of padding that isn't really necessary. As well, it sounds very derivative at times; some Yes here, Genesis there, Pink Floyd all over, but it doesn't distract and Wilson definitely plays up his influences as sources of strength. The only other complaint I really have, and goes hand in hand with the derivative bit, is that this album doesn't really break new ground. It's something that we've all heard before, a symphonic-ish/crossover-ish/metal-ish/neo-ish prog record that sounds like Joe Satriani playing revamped Genesis material with added ambient Pink Floyd stretches.

All in all this album is somewhere in between a 3 and a 4 star rating, an album that any prog fan could enjoy but not one that they need to have to complete their collection. I'll settle with 3 stars for a good piece of work that does the job.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 3/5 |

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