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Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning CD (album) cover

GRACE FOR DROWNING

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.18 | 1131 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

MoodyRush
4 stars In 2011, Steven Wilson released Grace for Drowning, his second solo album apart from his main band, Porcupine Tree, or his various other side projects. Technically, this album is a double album, with the first album being called Deform to Form a Star, and the second album being called Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eyes. This is my first Wilson solo album, though I do own and enjoy 3 Porcupine Tree albums. It can be easily said that Grace for Drowning is a much different album than anything composed by Porcupine Tree.

It must be noted that this album has an eclectic sound, with many different sounding songs. There a few 2 minute introduction tracks, starting each CD. These tracks are cinematic and set a good mood. The title track, Grace for Drowning, features a simple, wordless vocal melody over piano. So far, so good.

The next track is a favorite of mine, Sectarian. It starts to show how this album is different from any Porcupine Tree album. Featuring jazzy saxophone and drumming, this album recalls Lizard by King Crimson. Not surprising, considering Wilson recently remixed that album with Robert Fripp.

The title track of the first CD, Deform to Form a Star, is the first of a couple poppier tracks. It features a very catchy chorus and is a another favorite of mine.

No Part of Me shows Wilson using electronic beats and repetitiveness. Not an anomaly, electronic elements show up more later in the album. This track uses those elements well and is a fine song.

Postcard is another "pop" song. Featuring a repetitive piano riff and a fine climax with much mellotron, this is another fine song, though a little too repetitive in my mind to be fantastic.

The next song is a short, cinematic song, named Raider Prelude. I don't see how much connection it has to the Raider II on the following CD, but it holds its own.

Remainder the Black Dog is an interesting piece. Built off a piano riff that grows into a dark, jazzy number. One of the album's longer cuts, and an interesting one at that.

The next CD, Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eyes, starts off with Belle de Jour, another short number. It sets a good mood for the remaining songs.

Index is Grace for Drowning's second electronic track. With programmed beats and a dark lyrical theme of a pack rat, it is dark and creepy. I found this track to be one of the album's worst at first. It has grown on me, though it is one of the album's weaker tracks.

Track One is a multifaceted track, despite being barely over 4 minutes in length. It starts in a poppy vein but transitions into a darker mood. A good track, this one is.

The next song is one that grabs the prog listener's eye. Raider II is a 20+ minute track, 23:21 to be exact. For me at least, such a long track makes me excited and expectant, for usually tracks of that length are the cream of their albums. This track, however, is not the finest off this album in my mind. It starts very quietly, with a vocal melody that reminds me of Cirkus from King Crimson's Lizard. It progresses into various jazzy sections, both loud and soft, with heavy mellotron, flute, saxophone, and guitar all playing major roles. All in all, this track is good, but takes a while to grow in your mind. It is a good track, but not fantastic.

The album closes with this CD's title track, Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eyes. It is another poppy track, with a catchy chorus. It ends with a prolonged ambient section, which is a little overlong in my opinion.

All in all, this is a strong album, though not the masterpiece that some have touted it as. I've found in my exploration of Steven Wilson's main project, Porcupine Tree, that each album has its share of masterpiece material and some material, while not horrible, that is just good. I would rate this 4 stars out of 5. Go out and give this a listen!

MoodyRush | 4/5 |

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