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Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning CD (album) cover

GRACE FOR DROWNING

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.20 | 1152 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FunkyM
5 stars Steven Wilson, best known as the creative mind behind progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, released his second solo album in 2011 (and a double CD album, to boot) and it seems to have created quite a stir.

To be honest, while it does incorporate a number of influences such as jazz, Grace for Drowning not very far removed from Porcupine Tree. That is not a bad thing though, because this album would rank among the best albums by that band.

The remarkable thing about this album is that it is in the truly rare category of double album that not only does have any filler, but almost all of them are very well crafted. The opening title track with only its gentle piano and vocal refrain evoke emotion from the listener.

Also impressive is that even at two discs in length, the album doesn't feel overly long and overstay its welcome. That's something even many single disc albums struggle to accomplish these days.

Wilson has stated that he drew influence from King Crimson while working on the remastering of their albums and an Islands/Larks Tongue era influence can be heard on tracks such as "Sectarian", "Remainder the Black Dog" and the epic "Raider II".

Of course, a Beatles influence also presides over many of the tracks as is the Pink Floyd influence present in much of Wilson's work with Porcupine Tree. Elements of electronic music are also present. Wilson manages to merge all of these into something inventive and unique yet unquestionably familiar all at the same time.

Keyboard and piano play an essential part on this album and the playing by Dream Theater member Jordan Rudess is outstanding. Theo Travis' playing on sax also makes a hefty contribution to the album and can't be ignored. Other well known players making appearances include Steve Hackett, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn (strengthening the Crimson connection).

It is a rare thing when an album can garner near-universal glowing praise and still live up to the hype upon hearing it for the first time, much less the dozenth time. Grace for Drowning has the magic to accomplish that. I think it will take a near miracle for another album to knock this one off the top of my best of 2011 list - though I am open to surprises!

Very highly recommended!

FunkyM | 5/5 |

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