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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

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars A triumph of mastery over essence.

The album The Raven That Refused To Sing is another curious derivative of classic prog, which is not something I wanted to hear. This quality of the album just bugs me. That's right: this time there is less of Steven Wilson and more of King Crimson and Dream Theater. Plus, the very chemistry of the ghost-story concept, classic symph-jazz prog influences, and elements of alt-rock does not seem to digest very well for me. Also, it is my belief that if Steve wanted to bring excitement and conceptual depth together, he could do better. As per the widely and wildly acclaimed musicianship, I think the guys are just playing it safe too often. I can see very little of true creativity on the part of the crew. But hey, it's all pretty much under the command of one man.

In other news: I don't think coherence and musical concision are too much to ask for. "Luminol" has quite the instrumental drive along with an amazing introduction to the track, but, as it often goes in prog, this kind of music is out of place on this album with the ghost-story concept. This statement of incompatibility especially applies to the 12-minute "The Watchmaker". This leaves a feeling as if Steve was performing a role of a track framework writer, not that of a focused songwriter.

However, the The Raven does show that Wilson has finally matured as a songwriter. He knows what the word "melody" means ("Drive Home" is a good example of that). Also, the lyrical approach has improved significantly. No more vague songs about familiar feelings. Half the songs on the album have a few neat lines. "The words he sings are not his own. They speak of things he'll never know." I find that interesting. But it is the last two tracks that hit the spot for me. Though Steve relies too much on the atmosphere to keep me on my toes, as a songwriter he succeeds in all the other respects, forging somewhat clever and straightforward statements. The rest of the lyrical work on the album does not excite me at all.

The picky creep Dayvenkirq thinks that your prog collection can live without this album for the reasons I've mentioned before. However, some things are still worth attention. I do appreciate the effort Mr. Wilson put into this album. That said, I cannot recommend this album to anyone other than the people who enjoy solid-to-just-nice lyrical moments and decent instrumental work.

This is how The Raven gets three stars from me. I think this is a very fair rating considering what a strange idea it is to have an album with some decent musical ideas and almost solid lyrical work, but featuring influences from other big names of prog when you expect Steven Wilson to be on the record.

Dayvenkirq | 3/5 |


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