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Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) CD (album) cover


Steven Wilson


Crossover Prog

4.31 | 2374 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I have just deleted my previous review and now I am replacing it with a much more concise, and - unfortunately - more negative analyses.

Luminol excluded (because it had already appeared on GAYD before The Raven came out), the 5 remaining tracks add very little new to the world treasury of "prog". All Steven Wilson accomplished on this album had already been done before, and, I daresay, better - by others. Wilson just lifts whole musical segments from the grand old "prog" bands with the unscrupulous impudence of a commercial pop band, borrowing a 4-chord sequence from another commercial pop band.

I don't know how one can rehash some 40 years old musical ideas and somehow convince people it's all new, progressive and unique.

Then, what's the deal with dead females? Earlier Wilson was seemingly fascinated with blank-eyed youngsters, hooked onto prescription drugs. It was legit and OK, because there is a real societal problem of urban adolescents and young adults who seem to have all but abandoned the real world and chosen to vegetate in the simulated reality of computer games and street drugs.

But, out of the 5 tracks of The Raven proper (w/o Luminol), 4 somehow are designed around female characters who suffered either premature, or violent death. Why? What's going on in Wilson's mind now?

Anyway, I found myself unable to extract any pleasure from listening to The Raven, and that's a good enough reason to rate it as "less than good".

On the positive side of course the musicianship is excellent, and some of the lyrics are pretty good, and Marco is something else .. but that's hardly enough to make an album enjoyable. Steven Wilson's singing has somewhat improved. Beggs's hair style improved quite a bit comparing to his Kajagoogoo image.

BOTTOM LINE: if you never heard early Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and the like, and you want to have a general idea of what the "prog" music was like, The Raven may be of interest as a summary/compilation of the 1970s prog.

Argonaught | 3/5 |


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