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John Wesley - Shiver CD (album) cover

SHIVER

John Wesley

 

Crossover Prog

3.88 | 22 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Shiver' - John Wesley (8/10)

First off, I'd like to say how pleased I am to have John Wesley finally on the 'chives. Many progressive music fans will have already heard him from one source or another, as he plays rhythm guitar and does back up vocals for Porcupine Tree. On an added note, Steven Wilson produces this album, which should peak the interest of a Porcupine Tree fan even further.

All things aside however, John Wesleys solo work takes on a different style to most PT material, although fans of the latter should appreciate it. There is little to do here in terms of experimenting, or 'prog,' but that doesn't get in the way of Wesley crafting a moving, warm and human album.

Anyone even remotely familiar with the work of Bruce Springsteen will hear a very evident influence, although Wesley adopts the existing style and melds it into something of his own design. While the music in itself is nothing ground-breaking, the magic here is in the lyrics themselves and how Wesley performs them. While many progressive artists look to the ultimately cerebral and surreal (Yes, or The Mars Volta, to name a couple) Wesley focuses on subjects that apply to actual life, and rather then being solely introspective, stories are told with his music. Humbly put, Wesley is writting poetry for the working man.

Possibly the highlight of the album for me 'The King Of 17,' which tells the all-too common tale of a teenage runaway from an abusive family. Let the beauty in Wesley's words speak for itself: "We head to the east to catch up to the sun / You smile as you watch it rise / We come from nothing, we leave nothing behind / My world is the hope in your eyes..."

'Shiver;' while not blasting through boundaries of musical imagination, is one of the more poetic and human albums I've heard in quite a while. I would like to thank my friend and fellow PA member Joel (progkidjoel) for introducing me to this man's backcatalogue, and I am eager to delve into the rest of his albums!

On a further note, 'Shiver' and other releases from John Wesley's back catalogue are available for free download from his official website.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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