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Steven Wilson - Get All You Deserve CD (album) cover


Steven Wilson

Crossover Prog

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Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars Steven Wilson is showing the most of his experimental side on his solo project. I got the impression that he can display his freedom more on this than with Porcupine Tree and Blackfield. By adding a lot more variety of keyboards sounds (mellotron, piano), sax and flute, we get more intriguing sounds that enchanted the music to something new and original. The 2 hours of music on this DVD is a journey through the mind of a genius that make you experience a wide range of atmosphere from the quiet part of a piano, the delicate vocals harmonies and the agression of a guitar exploding suddenly. Sometimes we are hearing the melancholic music of Blakfield, a lot of times, the heavy prog of Porcupine Tree, also, the mellotron, the sax and the flute take you back to the first King Crimson's era.

The concert start slowly with some strange visual effects that are created with a curtain on the stage, that made the concert look like a old footage. The curtain is remove during the "Sectarian" song, so we can now have a clear view of all the members. And it seem to me that the show really takeoff here, with this excellent song. After the band go on to play some intense music, especially with "Postcard", the first time release track; "Luminol" and the epic, "Raider II".

The DTS mix of Steven Wilson is another example of what his a perfect surround mix. The separation between all instruments is clear. You can hear different instruments in the rear speakers with a sound that is well balanced.

This concert give you a new experience not only for the music, but for the visuals, very different from the Porcupine Tree's DVD. And it gets my highest recommendation!

Report this review (#829134)
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars And here is another Wilson's album, slated for the 2014-Nov-28 downgrading

I still love Luminol, although now I feel like rebelling against the completely meanigngless title (why would the story of a somewhat hypothetical hapless busker be named after a chemo-luminescent stuff they use in glow sticks?). Had Wilson refrained from singing, really, and configured Luminol as a purely instrumental piece, it would be priceless. The way it is now, it's nice, but not perfect.

The rest of the album does demonstrate some very high end musicianship, Wilson himself being the weakest link in this respect (while remaining one of the best band leaders and sound engineers).

As a whole, GAYD feels too viscous at times. The Raider II is a sheer torture in this respect. Listening to it is like wading through a knee-deep puddle of sticky tar.

If you watch it on DVD, you'd also have to put up with Wilson's infamous "hand gestures" .. I am not sure how his musicians are able to humor Wilson's dashing in random directions and waving/flapping his arms right in front of the people who are trying to play some of the most complex music.

Three stars ..

Report this review (#832116)
Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Have to admit I am reviewing this based on the one viewing but I doubt I will be digging it out again for a while so I thought I would get my thoughts down while they are fresh.

So we have Steven Wilson and a band none of which come from Porcupine Tree. The only one I'm familiar with is Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett Band and ex of 80's pop group Kajagogoo). We know this is meant to be be taken deadly serious and he is wearing sensible dark clothes although the trademark blonde hair (wig?) is present.

For any not familiar with Steven's work (presumably been living in a cave somehwere) then its slow dark ambient with occasional up tempo jazzy peices. Its all about mood. I like the textures and atmospheres and its interesting to see a band recreate it. However I have to admit I fell asleep about 40 minutes in and found myself wondering when it would end. 2 hours is a lot of time to invest for this. Not thats it bad or anything like that , in fact its beautfully produced and filmed but not exactly a thrill ride. I'm glad I got the edition with the CD's because I think I will get more use out of those.

In summary if you like Steven Wilson you will buy it.

Report this review (#832157)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Steven Wilson once again proves, that he is Robert Fripp and musical genius of our times. Through two hours of music he shows great class - every song has its own soul! Songs, mostly from GFD album are even better than studio recordings. Remainder the Black Dog, Intro Song, Raider II, Sectarian and Luminol - new song - are the highlights of the concert. With a bunch of great musicians like Nick Beggs and Marco Minemann Steve creates the spectacle that you can't forget for a long time. Really recommend this one - for me, it's the best thing that Steven Wilson has put out on a DVD.
Report this review (#837259)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 11.5/15P. Mr. Wilson's most organic solo outing. A real treat, but not without the stubborn and often overly academic riffs.

First of all - this BluRay/DVD/CD release is pretty up to date by the time I am writing this review. This results in the problematic situation that my review is of a more preliminary kind and possibly subject to some up- or downgrading in the near future.

Steven Wilson for sure is one of the most prolific musicians of the art rock realms in our times. Lots of compositions, quite some production and remixing work of progressive rock classics in the last few years, lots of different projects. And although some material is less captivating than other material he has not even one appalling album in his huge discography.

I do admit that I have some major problems with Steven Wilson's output. He is constantly authentic, but his music has a sense of apathy and darkness which is often hard to bear. Even his pop songs shine in levels of grey, as the Porcupine Tree records of the early 2000s prove.

This particular recording makes a slight but noticeable difference, most probably due to the presence of some excellent musicians who bring in their own personality and replace the frequent film soundtrack borrowings we know from Grace For Drowning with a tighter and more organic sound. The music definitely retains its icy and gloomy substance, but it becomes more immediate, be it the National Health-inspired Canterbury keyboard and flute soloing in the previously unreleased Luminol, the muscular bass riffing in No Twilight Within The Courts of Sun and Harmony Korine or the ambient woodwind-keyboard outro of Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye. This music is composed thoroughly, the material is performed in an immaculate way, and it even contains an emotional and personal component which most of the more mathematic composers often forget.

I'm not yet sure which other aspects I'd like to highlight, but the music feels incredibly right and promises to grow on me upon further listens.

Nonetheless there are certain things which bother me - aspects which aren't details of the specific compositions, but patterns in Wilson's whole discography, patterns which only become obvious when you compare this work with classic albums of the 1970s, for instance National Health's first albums. Firstly Steve Wilson often uses the predominant analogue keyboards and riff structures as effects. In nearly every piece there are the occasional Mellotron lines and the retro-sounding organ sounds playing a weirdly syncopated riff. I'm pretty sure that Wilson doesn't copy any existing riff of another band, but some of the parts simply don't feel absolutely essential to the respective piece.

Secondly the musicians tend to play too perfectly at certain places. I know that Wilson's compositions are technically demanding, resulting in the situation that only professionally trained musicians can be considered as suitable backing musicians, but guys like Dave Stewart and Phil Miller doubtlessly stood out as musicians with a distinct voicing. Maybe his band musicians have a unique style as well, a uniqueness I haven't yet perceived, but I believe that a collaboration of Wilson with different musicians on the same level would be a fruitful project.

Thirdly I miss the ferocity and spontaneity which many of the excellent progressive rock bands had. Wilson tries hard to get and revive the essence of King Crimson and ELP music, but the compositions frequently turn out too stiff and strict. There are heavy riffs and jazzy solos in almost every track, but still something doesn't feel completely right from time to time. All the while Wilson runs and looks around the stage on the DVD, taking control of everything he is possibly able to control. He is totally focussed on the music, but he rarely floats in the waves of sound his band creates.

Some might argue that these arguments of mine reveal a pessimist attitude towards modern music, an attitude which elevates 'old' progressive rock over recent progressive rock on principle. This, by the means of logic, would implicate that I couldn't find a modern album which succeeds in the things which albums such as this one do not achieve, and which albums like Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here in turn were perfectly capable of. And that's entirely wrong! I only need to mention Sigur Rós' work in the early 2000s, the contemporary indie/folk rock bands Junip and Fleet Foxes or the electronic output of my landsmen Fritz Kalkbrenner and Sascha Funke. All of them were able to record devoted albums with lots of different emotional layers. They might lack the entertaining complexity of Mr. Wilson, but when both aspects may be realized separately, why shouldn't someone combine them? Recording a masterpiece was as difficult in the 1970s as it is now. Steven Wilson has the knowledge and talent to produce such a masterpiece, but he still hasn't reached his big destination, and it seems that the harder he tries, working himself relentlessly to masses of projects, the less satisfied he is going to be.

There is a video of Mr. Arthur Brown leading the Hamburg Blues Band, a loose line-up of musicians (including Clem Clempson of Colosseum) who tour around Europe at the moment. In that video the band covers the pop classic Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, and as Clempson contributes a magnificently moody and sincere guitar solo Arthur Brown simply stands in front of Clempson and listens, ostensibly feeling the solo and moving along with it. I wish Mr. Wilson the calmness and empathy to do similarly, and meanwhile I try again and again to approach Wilson's vision more than I am able to do at the moment. This set, however, is highly recommendable and one of the stand-out releases of this year. An essential addition to the collection of anyone who wants to know what progressive rock means today!

Report this review (#839912)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars In interviews surrounding the release of the "Grace for Drowning" album last year, Steven Wilson commented on how modern progressive rock (including even his own Porcupine Tree) had become mostly devoid of the original jazz/improvisational influences that colored many of the original progressive bands of the 70's, and that with his new solo album he was trying to re-incorporate some of these older prog elements.

The album was a great success overall, but these jazz and improvisational elements really reach their full potential in this new Blu-Ray/DVD release "Get All You Deserve", capturing the live shows earlier this year in support of "GFD" . By bringing accomplished jazz musicians Adam Holzman (on keyboards) and Theo Travis (on woodwinds) on this tour, along with an excellent cast of rock/prog musicians, SW gives us extended versions of a number of his songs from his first two albums with many improvised elements and solos, to a very positive effect.

The highlight for me as mentioned by some other reviewers is the new track "Luminol", which has it all - great prog instrumental sections, nicely flowing improv sections, emotional ebbs and swells. (This track will be put out as a studio recording on the next SW album, due out next year). As has come to be expected from any SW release, the visuals and surround sound quality on this Blu-Ray are just top notch! This is a highly pleasing sound and visual experience, and overall very highly recommended!

Report this review (#842895)
Posted Monday, October 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Steven Wilson is recently (as of March 2013) fond of saying he has assembled the best band around: you see, he's got Nick Beggs, Marco Minnemann and Theo Travis in it, session musicians who are very respected and excellent in their respective instruments - indeed this is a fact, but he doesn't have the slightest idea of how to use his hiredmen to his advantage, mainly because the fame of his derives not from his supposed talent but from the bravado he uses to articulate phrases such as those.

Get All You Deserve is Wilson's newest addition to the "prog rock revivor" myth he sells and a lot of others do buy. I mean, if you analise the history of his heroes it makes sense for him to do an emulation, as he has been doing since Porcupine Tree started: Jethro Tull broke new ground doing the tours to TAAB and APP; so did Genesis with SEBTP, TLLDOB and ATTOT; or Pink Floyd since 1969; King Crimson didn't, but the tours between 1972-74 were scary to watch; the same for Van der Graaf Generator; and so forth. "It is a MUST", I can picture SW saying, "I must hit the road with a show containing theatrical elements, backdrops and impressive lightning". He did and now it is being sold...

I suppose it doesn't make a difference if SW has the best band possible, because he CANNOT use the members' skills in any way, let alone to play memorable and/or original music. From the "Citadel" intro to the "Litany" outro, all that happens musically is the mash-up of influences his fans love so much, going through all his "prog rock exponent" works as a solo artist and a little more, after a while, I cannot even tell one song from the other, except that they haven't a thing to say, of course.

Even visually it falters: Nick Beggs is bizarre enough to be a relief, but the rest... The usual "new-prog" concert fare notwithstanding, it is stale, not only because it is so clear a rip-off but because Wilson tries so hard to show how a great showman he (thinks he) is it is painful, maybe he should be in a Beach Boys cover band because he would make a good Mike Love impersonator.

Get All You Deserve still gains two stars from me because I paid for it and because, well, he tried. And failed again. Steven isn't worried though, not since he is hailed as a "genius artist who inserts new life into an old art", but I must confess I am, I always am when such simple but bold words are taken as received wisdom instead of opinion subject to critical thinking - just like The Beatles, a band which i dislike just as much and whose music has much more to do with Wilson's than the ones he's trying to reach.

Report this review (#911328)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars It's always tough to review a recording that you value so highly, in fact this is my favourite from 2012 and it wasn't a difficult choice. I have to be honest I haven't watched the visual discs yet, i've only listened to the two cds. Mind you I saw them on this particular "Grace For Drowning" tour only it was in Toronto not the Mexico City show that they used here. While we waited for the concert to begin in Toronto they played music from Wilson's BASS COMMUNION project and there was this see-through veil across the stage that a projector was fiming against. Man his was eerie and the BASS COMMUNION music certainly helped with that mood. In looking at the veil it was like we were looking out of a back of a house through these large sliding doors or French doors or whatever they were. You could see far in the distance, like looking out at your backyard that was maybe an acre in area when suddenly this person in black starts to walk across the screen but he's far away and he's moving slowly. Then he's gone out of site, but say 10 minutes later he's back again walking across the screen the other direction now as we look out the doors but he's closer this time and again he walks out of site. Then 10 minutes or so later he's walking in front of the doors but he's right there close. As he walks across he stops at the doors and turns towards us and looks in. My God ! This faceless person in black robes is going to kill us all ! Haha. Man that was freaky to watch and the show hadn't even started yet.

What is different with the music here compared to PORCUPINE TREE is that the music feels like it's being played by a lights-out good Jazz / Fusion band. The guys in the band are all gun slingers and Wilson admits that he doesn't measure up to these guys when it comes to his playing but hey it's his band and compositions so he's smart in bringing in all of amazing players. When I saw the tour it was drummer Marco Minnemann who blew me away, I have seen some incredible drummers live but my jaw was on the floor. I loved Theo Travis too playing flute, clarinet and sax. I don't even know where to begin with this and hesitate to go track by track because of all the gushing i'll be doing. There's a nice mixture of laid back tunes and songs where all hell breaks loose, and of course tracks that have both of those qualities. It was cool hearing "Luminol" which is on the new album that was just released recently. This for me was an event, and to see it live in such an intimate setting in an opera house where the sound quality was excellent was just priceless. The Mexican crowd on the audio discs were so enthusiastic which only added to my enjoyment knowing how they felt during those incredible moments, and there were lots of them.

Masterpiece !

Report this review (#911467)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars An absolutely stunning BluRay disc where we find the band on fire in Mexico City. I must congratulate Steven Wilson and his production team for the sheer quality of this release. Every instrument is clearly heard and, well of course, the music is outstanding. Who would have thought we would see clarinet and saxophone on a Steven Wilson release, but the results are tremendous. The bass guitar is prominent and that is very important of course for a live performance. I have seen Porcupine Tree in concert 3 times but must admit that his solo career is now even more interesting. Grace For Drowning is a marvel of intrigue; transcending the dark, heavy and majestic side of his thoughts. Just how he churns out quality tracks after tracks is something to only imagine. Porcupine Tree fans will love this release. At the time of writing, Steven has already released The Raven and this is yet another duly purchased for Madrid 2013 to see one of the undisputed greats of the modern prog era.....nothing less than the maximum 5stars for this release.
Report this review (#981104)
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The live video "Get All You Deserve" comes as either a DVD, a Blu-Ray or a Limited Deluxe Edition, which includes both video formats as well as the entire two-hour concert in a slip-cased, hardback DVD-size book with 40 pages of tour pictures. Wilson believes that music is released in packages that look wonderful?things to grab and to hold, as much as to hear and see. Directed by Lasse Hoile?who has been with Wilson and Porcupine Tree since first teaming up for the cover of Porcupine Tree's In Absentia. The result is a live performance video that is casted differently than a traditional live concert where at the beginning of the film is like a horror movie. It's a good experience to see this video at the first time. Recorded at Teatro Metropólitanon in Mexico City, the band undertook the fifth of what would eventually be 26 concert dates. The film includes 16 tunes with new effort called "Luminol" that would be included in the next album of Wilson. Wilson toured with keyboardist Adam Holzman, guitarist Niko Tsonev, drummer Marco Minnemann, bassist Nick Beggs and Theo Travis, who played flute and sax.

The overall concert video is an exciting thing to enjoy as the sound quality as well as the picture are excellent even though the most part of the concert was performed in dark nuance. The important thing is the angles of shooting that are different with any typical concert. As far as musician's performance on stage, I love Nick Beggs stage act even though he is quite calm throughout the show. But his bass playing is really cool and one of the important factors looking at the band play the music of Wilson. The next one is the drummer Marco Minnemann who plays wonderful drumming and of course Theo Travis with his flute and sax work. Of course I like the rockin' style of Steven Wilson who plays his vocal line excellently plus the guitar he brings and some exploration sounds using keyboard. He moves quite dynamically around the stage. I am really happy that they perform Luminol which at that time was not released as studio track yet.

Overall, it's a highly recommended live performance studio that deserves full five stars rating. I really love this video. Keep on proggin' ?!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#1067143)
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 | Review Permalink

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