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Steven Wilson

Crossover Prog

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Steven Wilson Transience album cover
3.45 | 85 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1:
1: Transience (Single Version) (3:10)
2: Harmony Korine (5:07)
3: Postcard (4:27)
4: Significant Other (4:31)
5: Insurgentes (3:54)

Side 2:
1: The Pin Drop (5:01)
2: Happy Returns (Edit) (5:11)
3: Deform to Form a Star (Edit) (5:53)
4: Thank You (4:39)

Side 3:
1: Index (4:47)
2: Hand: Cannot: Erase: (4:13)
3: Lazarus (2015 Recording) (3:57)
4: Drive Home (7:33)

Total Time 62:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards
- Nick Beggs / chapman stick
- Guthrie Govan / slide guitar
- Adam Holzman / piano, hammond organ
- Marco Minnemann / drums

Releases information

September 4, 2015 (UK) October 2, 2015 (ROW)
Label: Burning Shed
Format: Vinyl (2 LP)

Pressed as a 3 sided LP in a lavish gatefold sleeve with black and white portraits of SW by Joe Del Tufo and Susana Moyaho, the fourth vinyl side features an etching of the original handwritten lyric sketches for Happy Returns

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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STEVEN WILSON Transience ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

STEVEN WILSON Transience reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Transience' - Steven Wilson (55/100)

The following has been written based on a promo copy on behalf of Prog Sphere Magazine.

Transience is one of the most baffling albums I've ever come across. I'm trying to think now, actually, and I can't think of another that possibly trumps this in terms of the sheer mixed signals it's trying to send.

Now, it's important (and hopefully obvious) to note that whatever confusion I have towards Transience has scarce little to do with the music itself. Like quite a few of you reading this, the work of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree has been a major part of my listening digest for years, and albums on both sides of his career have wormed their way as some of my top favourites. I've listened to some of his albums hundreds of times, and not once have I ever thought Porcupine Tree (much less Wilson's solo career) ever needed some kind of 'Greatest Hits' compilation to sway potential newcomers. Best-of compilations are swiftly becoming a thing of the past as it is, and while certain stalwarts like The Beatles or Queen might invite some release to compile their catchiest tunes on a single disc, I don't think the medium works for progressive rock artists. Prospective fans of Wilson's music aren't going to be looking for the chart-topping hits and club-friendly banger; they're probably going to jump headfirst into the masterpieces and appreciate the work as it was intended. In any case, I would never have thought to see a best-of comp from the man himself.

However, that's still not the reason I am baffled by Transience. That's not the reason it's one of the strangest things to be released this year.

The bottom line is that Steven Wilson has released what's essentially an accessible best-of comp with every exclusive bell and whistle I'd normally associate from a diehard fan item. Steven describes Transience as "the ideal way to introduce a friend or partner to SW music without the more "difficult" stuff getting in the way." Surely, many of us have already had times where we've tried to get friends, girlfriends and wives into the music, but buying them a limited vinyl-exclusive 2LP probably isn't the first place I'd start. Probably. I mean, it'd probably be a safer bet to start with a few non-chalant YouTube links here and there, then slowly working up to full albums. Even then, if I wanted to sway someone who really needed an easygoing introduction to Wilson's music, I'd start with Porcupine Tree and advance from there.

For what it's supposedly trying to do, I think Transience actually does a fairly lovely. Part of an album's central character is the way in which the songs are sequenced; the way they compliment and contextualize one another. In that regard, Transience manages to paint some of these pieces in a fresh light, and for that, I am duly surprised. Who'd have thought "Transience" would make a perfect opener, or "Drive Home" an epic finale? For whatever cash-grab this album seems to be, Steven Wilson's obviously given it more thought and care than the average best-of compilation. The most enticing part of this album's press release is the part where Transience is described as "personally curated"-- indeed, the album does feel that way, and the songs have been made to feel like they fit together.

Fans hungry for any sort of fresh material will be a quarter-impressed; a re-recorded version of "Lazarus" offers some novelty, but feels pretty dead compared to the original. Barring that, this is the Steven Wilson you all know, and mostly love. For those who are really looking to get into Wilson's music to start, I'd personally recommend checking out Lightbulb Sun or Deadwing from the Porcupine Tree days. The only people I can imagine delving into Transience will be people who are already major Steven Wilson fans, and it probably won't be for the listening so much as the having.

Review by admireArt
3 stars "The commercial album syndrome"

If anything Steven Wilson's, 2015, Transience, shows his amazing songwriting talents, stripped naked in this undercovered "Greatest (possible mainstream) Hits".

His die hard fans could not care less for such a consciously un-proggy attitude, the ratings, up to now, show that it was not really necessary to gather his songs in such a sterilizing manner, less focus on outsiders, who the same will never get it, even if he played alongside Beyonce.

The real bad news is that one realizes how cheesy things can get when there are no high voltage, creative, disrupting explosions of pure Prog Rock to counterpoint such an overly sweet compendium. In his defense, I will mention his Poppy BLACKFIELD endeavours, whose real target audiences, are quiet far from Progland.

If anything for collectors or people who want to own a single Steven Wilson album, "because he is kind of weird, but look!".

Anyway, no matter how sticky things can get, he is still a hell of a songwriter and performer.

Tops ***3 "Best Hits for people who already know those to the bone to start with", PA stars.

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