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

THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES)

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.33 | 971 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

arcane-beautiful
5 stars For the past few years, Steven Wilson has kind of got on my nerves a bit. I myself would say I am a pretty big Porcupine Tree fan and have been for a good few years. For about 10 years, they have created a large amount of prog classics and front man Steven Wilson was

So when Steven Wilson made a solo album, he kind of got a bit of a god complex. Of course, everything he does is generally well received, but when Insurgents came out, it was almost like he went "They love me...THEY LOVE ME!" (Emphasis on me).

So being a bit of a narcissist, he decided to put Porcupine Tree on hold while he basks in the success of his solo career, leaving the other members of Porcupine Tree...on the dole...I think.

So after an alright 1st album, he released Grace For Drowning, a 2 disc self indulgent jazz odyssey. Again...rather good. Then came Storm Corrosion, a project he made with Mikael Adkerfeldt. Again...some good moments, but in all fairness, reeked of pretension, self indulgence, and a problem Steven has to contain a little, and that problem is post modern tributes to his idols.

So..does this album suffer from Stevens past mistakes. At times yes, but as an artist should do, he is experimenting with different stuff now and then. In fact...the best thing to do is to make something that's rather unique, which can be heard on this album. At times, influences can be heard and brought forward,

Another thing Steven was able to do on this album was perfect the art of songwriting. Yes, you know...songs...with words and meanings and all that stuff.

Also, one of the things I really love about this album is the storytelling element each song has. It reminded me of the old concept album days of Porcupine Tree, where the lyrics took you into little storytelling worlds.

Musically, the album see's an almost super group line up, which made me wonder..."why not keep this as a supergroup and have the album released under a moniker." But...I guess Stevens personality will sell the album enough.

1. Luminol ? When I heard the opening of this song I was rather surprised. This is the side of Steven Wilson that I think he's been missing the past few years. The more rhythmic and upbeat side. Packed with instrumental craziness, with some amazing flute work from Theo Travis and spectacular drumming from Marco Minneman. Lyrics are pretty interesting too, although I do feel it goes on a bit too long length wise. 9/10

2. Drive Home ? One of my favourite songs on the album. I always love it when Steve does a ballad. Now and then they do have a similar vein, but this one is pretty killer. The guitar solo at the end is probably the highlight, with some very Gilmore esque lead moments. 10/10

3. The Holy Drinker ? At times a bit too much like King Crimson, but...there is no King Crimson anymore, so this is a welcoming tribute. Some interesting lyrics with some nice musical moments throughout, especially with the instrumentation and the crazy saxophone playing. 9/10

4. The Pin Drop ? One of my favourite songs on the album. If Steven's solo stuff sounded a lot more like this, I would listen to his stuff a lot more. A very odd paced song with some impressive vocals from Steven. It's a listen to beheld, that's all I can say. Very unique. 10/10

5. The Watchmaker ? A very odd song that I'm actually incredibly impressed with. At the start, it seems to be a ballad but as it goes on, it gets a lot more musically interesting. Nice lyrics as well, and Stevens vocals are beautifully presented. The ending is pretty kick ass and rather surprising as well. 10/10

6. The Raven That Refused To Sing ? The albums crowning moment and maybe even Steven's greatest achievement to date (especially solo wise). When Storm Corrosion was coming out, I actually expected the music in some way to almost sound like this song...but sadly I was slightly let down. A beautiful song and an epic way to end an album. Also, check out the music video for this song as well. Nice little bit of animation for ya. 10/10

CONCLUSION: So Steven Wilson has finally made a solo album I'm happy with. I'm impressed. All the reasons I like him are in this album. He finally did it. I will no longer make fun of him anymore (I will, just not as much). I will gladfully not judge him anymore and will await his next release with glee.

8.7/10

arcane-beautiful | 5/5 |

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