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


Steven Wilson


Crossover Prog

4.31 | 2380 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The Raven That Refused to Sing is the third solo album by musician Steven Wilson and was released just two years following his previous solo outing, Grace for Drowning. Given the extremely favourable reception that Grace for Drowning received from the progressive rock community, expectations were high for this release. While this album may not be without flaws, it is certainly one of Wilson's best and delivers on nearly every front.

The material on this record is exceptional and Wilson's increasing maturity as a composer and lyricist is evident. The music contains a ton of great ideas that are fully explored and cover a variety of different moods and atmospheres. I could do without some of the more dissonant and heavy passages and sections in the music, but this has to do with personal preference and I understand and respect their inclusion.

The tracks are all stylistically similar to other music in Wilson's recent repertoire as well as being reminiscent of some of the progressive rock of the 1970's. While each piece is strong, "Drive Home" and "The Watchmaker" offer some of the best music on the album. That said, the emotional title track stands out as the strongest of the album and perhaps even Wilson's career (a bold statement, I know!).

My biggest complaint about the album revolves around Wilson's use of song structure. While most of the songs are quite cohesive, there are instances where it seems like Wilson has simply stitched together sections of music that have little or nothing to do with each other. This is perhaps most obvious in "Luminol", where all of the sections of the song are very strong but do not fit together in a logical manner. Nevertheless, this is only a minor drawback considering the quality of the music throughout the record.

Unlike Wilson's earlier solo material, The Raven that Refused to Sing features a band instead of just a slew of session musicians. The record certainly benefits from this; each of the musicians is given the opportunity to bring their level of expertise to their respective parts and the band chemistry brings a new level of interaction that was absent on Wilson's previous solo releases. The sheer musicianship and technical prowess present in this lineup is simply jaw-dropping. Although each member of the group offers something to the music, the guitar wizardry of Guthrie Govan and the drumming of Marco Minnemann are really fantastic. The playing on this album is practically flawless, and makes it that much more enjoyable to listen to.

Overall, The Raven That Refused to Sing may just be Wilson's best effort yet. The quality of the compositions, musicianship, and lyrics on The Raven That Refused to Sing make it a must for any fan of progressive music and may very well establish the album as a classic in the future.

RBlak054 | 5/5 |


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