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3.79 | 399 ratings

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2 stars Hear me out. This is a great album if you're a big fan of Steven Wilson's music. However, to give it a high review on a progressive music web site seems a bit silly to me.

I'm not saying this album is not progressive. It's got the moments it needs to have. It has tunes that you wouldn't hear on the radio. All that good stuff. However, what it really comes down to is that this is mostly just a pop/rock album with some clever production and some intriguing melodies. Steven Wilson, the man behind Porcupine Tree, No-Man, and a bunch of other things, joined up with Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. For what it's worth, these two sound great together as a duet. A fusion of Israeli and British musicians turn this band into something you would think sounds very unusual. However, most of the music sounds like Porcupine Tree, and not just because of Steven Wilson's voice. Rather, the input from Geffen is mostly just standard singer/songwriter fare, with angsty or slightly whining lyrics. It makes for a soothing, mellow, solid combo, but there really is nothing here that can be called very new or original. A good effort, but the songs are all mostly the same style and the songwriting nothing you haven't heard before if you've listened to Porcupine Tree.

It opens with Open Mind, a quiet track that goes heavy for a few seconds at the end of the chorus. Blackfield is an upbeat pop tune with some catchy vocal lines from Wilson. Glow is the first track of real progressive interest, being built on a haunting, melancholic atmosphere. Also, around halfway through, the music suddenly jumps into an energetic beat and Geffen shows us what his voice sounds like in the lead. This is one of the best and one of the most progressive tracks on this release. Scars is another pop tune with some cool synthesized strings. Lullaby was originally intended to be much longer, but for some reason became another short and sad pop tune. Pain is upbeat and unhappy. Summer is closer to Glow in style, with a lot of mood and atmosphere powering some pretty vocal harmonies. Cloudy Now is a more fascinating and straightforward tune, from the perspective of the very cynical Geffen. Near the end of the song, the music kicks in and the angsty lyrics explode with aggressive obscenity that fits pretty well. The Hole in Me is another average track with a good melody but not much depth. The album closer Hello is pretty haunting and sad, with a repetitive chorus that really sounds pretty heartbreaking.

If you really like Steven Wilson, I bet you'll like this. This is the accessible pop side of the man, without his usual trappings of psychedelia or metal. However, if you're unfamiliar with the fellow, instead you should jump into some of Porcupine Tree's major albums, as they're stronger, more progressive, and more creative on the whole.

LiquidEternity | 2/5 |


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