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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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raven31
5 stars 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' is one of the greatest triumphs of Mr. Wilson in several respects. First and foremost, this album shows that Wilson succeeded in assembling his electronic and ambient textures and virtuoso performance in brilliant forms. Clearly, he could make records that were supposed to be lauded by prog fans following the approach of 'Raven', which had complex structures and one of the finest performances in modern prog genre. Making such albums, however, could be artistic failure; admiration guaranteed by following the rule might imprison his strengths in making layered and constructed sounds and the results of that choice would make 'Hand.' a generic record. Fortunately (I might have to say expectably) Wilson took fresh sound elements and influences from electronica and contemporary classic music to make the latest full album (we could recognize BoC, Murcof, and Arvo Part etc. in the album) and his arrangement between those current experiment in genres and classic prog influences is in the greatest form he has ever achieved.

Lyrically or thematically the album covers broad and urgent issues; social alienation, freedom, and modern technology etc.. What makes these themes interesting is, however, not the theme itself but how Wilson narrates that kinds of familiar issue. Based on the real haunting story, the theme of album is clearly more concrete than Wilson's last attempts to deal similar issues; furthermore, he adopted various representations, images, and motifs from novels and movies (from Kafka to 'Under the Skin') and mixed those various fragments with superb sound design. For instance, 'Ancestral' is like Sirens voices extended by modern classic music and death metal. 'Routine' could be considered as melancholic poetry read by Kate Bush. The deluxe edition of this album provides much more interesting and imaginative experimentation in that direction.

Needless to say, the production is top-notch and performances are brilliant. The more you listen to the album, the more elements worth delving into you will find. Highly recommended.

raven31 | 5/5 |

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