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Steven Wilson - Vapour Trail Lullaby CD (album) cover


Steven Wilson

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Roots in absentia

The single for "vapour trail lullaby" has its origins pre "In Absentia." The track was written in that batch of songs but ultimately ruled not heavy enough to fit in with the Absentia material. A different version was later included on a Blackfield album but this one was a more stripped down affair. The track that wouldn't die came up again as Wilson worked on "Insurgentes" but this more fully realized version did not fit into the experimental theme he wanted there. He felt it sounded too much like Porcupine Tree. Finally, he preferred the original 2001 demo to the newly crafted version, and so it is that beauty which is released as this single.

Beginning with sound effects, piano, and a muffled voice, the song is one of those more laid back affairs with a relaxing melody. The piano is a repeating motif that is introspective in feel. Slowly drums and guitar fill in around the edges as we drift into the melodic main chorus. Then the bass comes in giving the sound some balls but it always feels close to something like Lazarus, very approachable and easy-going. The final third of the 9 minutes change to an ambient electronica with more sound effects, but again very smooth and non-abrasive. A very nice single which came as a bonus with the Insurgentes dvd film. Certainly worth finding for fans of Wilson and PT.

Report this review (#307581)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars 'Vapour Trail Lullaby' is a one track single by Steven Wilson that was given away with advance ordered copies of the DVD 'Insurgentes'. Originally, this track was demoed for Porcupine Tree prior to the release of 'In Absentia', but they never thought it fit quite right in their material. So, Steven Wilson recorded it solo. Since he thought it sounded too much like Porcupine Tree material, he left it off of any album. However, the last part of the track was adapted into the 'Twilight Coda' of Wilson's album 'Insurgentes'. Also, a different realization of the track was used in the track 'Lullaby' by Blackfield. So, parts and pieces of the track were used, but this single is the original 9 + minute version, which Wilson liked better than any of his other attempts to try to record it.

You should recognize the piano riffs as it fades in if you have heard the Blackfield song. Subdued and processed vocals soon start as the piano continues along with vocal field recordings added for atmosphere. The melody is the same as 'Lullaby' but the lyrics are different. As it continues, intensity slowly builds and instruments are added. The sound suddenly reaches normal level. Drums, mellotron and a beautiful soft guitar riff is added, as Wilson sings more verses. You will start to hear a countermelody during the chorus after awhile. At 6:00, everything quiets down as the coda begins. This part is more ambient as echoing guitars and keys create a spacey atmosphere.

As far as I can tell, this track was never released on any other recording. It is a beautiful track, but if you have heard the Blackfield song, you know what the main melody sound like, it is just that this track develops the song much better, because, as you know, most Blackfield songs are short and at times seem underdeveloped. Anyway, it is a difficult one to find and probably expensive if you do find it.

Report this review (#2053695)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2018 | Review Permalink

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