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Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) CD (album) cover


Steven Wilson


Crossover Prog

4.30 | 1875 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars

Just about every review thus far for Steven Wilson's "The Raven That Refused To Sing" has been praising the album as a progressive rock masterpiece; as essential prog fare for 2013; and so on and on. While I do not disagree that this wonderful album deserves a spin by every true prog fan, I'm not sure I can call it a masterpiece.

Wilson outdoes himself in this album with an amazing sound mix. He truly is a wizard: The 70's vibe that he portrays here is masterfully mixed and well written. Indeed, I really love the concept of an album all about ghost stories. I think Wilson knocked that concept out of the park. Not only that, but the musicians really amazed me. The musicians are very tasteful and restrained here, but can shred when they need to do so. The bass player and drummer especially amazed me with their unique approaches, instead of trying to just drown out everyone else. And, as always, Wilson's vocals are above average.

Yet, I cannot slap a 5-star rating on this album. I feel that Wilson tried hard to write plenty of instrumental passages (maybe trying to impress progheads? Not enough lyrics? Who knows.), but they usually come off as wandering and pointless. Take, for instance, the first track, "Luminol". This track begins with an amazing bass line and instrumental portion. Yet, it is the best instrumental portion in the entire album! It is to-the-point and groovy. But, as the song progresses, Wilson loses his focus. I feel that way about almost every song; too much filler.

That said, this album is very well done. The title track is already in my Top 5 songs for the year, for words cannot describe how masterful it is. You see, Wilson's composition is focused, emotive, and spell-binding on the title track; something he just missed in most of the other tracks. If the entire album had been as amazing as the final track, I feel we would already have the album of the year. As it stands, this is a great album; yet I think it will be forgotten relatively soon.

Second Life Syndrome | 3/5 |


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