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Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning CD (album) cover

GRACE FOR DROWNING

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.20 | 1156 ratings

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ingmin68
3 stars A Failed Masterpiece. Steven Wilson's latest work, prior to listening, was apparently set to be considered one of the most prominent of recent years. A double album from a real genius of modern music, long compositions (4 tracks in the 8min range, one "epic" of 23min). A wide array of famed musicians in cooperation. And after first listen, a terrific, majestic production, that really set the level at highest tip, even in SW's already excellent terms. But, then, the music? This is my major problem here. Apart for few exceptions - the stellar "Deform to form a star" - really an outstanding track by all aspects; the Blackfield-ish "Postcard", with lush arrangements; the firts HALF of closing number "Like dust..."(the 2nd half has almost no sound) - the rest let me with no taste in my mouth to recall, and a lot to feel remorse about. It seems that SW declared its intentions for the album in the track "Index", where a maniac collector describes himself. In the album, SW seems to make a displays of lush, sumptuous, daunting "sounds" collected during his career, both as composer and according to its personal tastes. Assembled together in short sections, but disjointed and deconstructed. Probably meant to be reverberating by juxtaposition, or in order to try to create a new musical form. This is more visible in the long tracks "Sectarian", "Remainder the black dog" and the supposed "epic" "Raider II". There are nice and initially haunting parts (mostly menacing tunes...) performed by means of nice "progressive" instruments, followed by loops, heavy monotone riffs, madness eruptions that give on your nerves, silences, echoes of distant guitars...I've got lured at the start of each of those tracks, then disheartened while the song was making its way. Other tracks are really less interesting. "Belle du Jour" has a nice atmosphere and gently subdued melancholic melody of a musicbox, but one you can hear so many in late 60s-firts 70s movies (Morricone)...another item collected to show, likely. "Raider prelude" is pure filler, "Index" and "Track one" have the coldness of a drone sound machine, with burst of heavy monotone riffs in the second part of the song. In the end, I'm left with the feeling that this could have been much better, if SW had choosen a slightly different direction (using more melodic connections between the parts). Obviously, he was in search of another exploration mission. But the result is not paying off. The previous "Insurgentes" did a lot more, with less. Really looking forward to the next, hopefully different work from Steven!
ingmin68 | 3/5 |

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