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STEVEN WILSON

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steven Wilson biography
Steven John Wilson - Born 3 November 1967 (Kingston upon Thames, London, UK)

STEVEN WILSON, perhaps most widely known for his role as the frontman for the popular act PORCUPINE TREE , is an artist from the UK who, through his various side projects, has spanned a vast number of musical ideas and concepts. Some of the styles he has been known to utilize are heavy prog, psychedelic, electronica, post-rock, ambient music, drone, metal, and art rock. Furthermore, WILSON is intensely focused on production values, dynamic mixing and mastering, and all other sorts of building albums that sound best in high-quality systems. In short, WILSON has always been an artist that appeals to audiophiles and fans of meticulously produced music. This shows up strongly in each of his bands and projects, but it plays even more of a role in his solo efforts.

Photo by Lasse Hoile

Though some of his earliest musical recordings were demos that predated even Porcupine Tree, his solo releases did not truly start appearing until his "Cover Version" singles began in 2003. Essentially releasing one a year, each "Cover Version" contained a particularly unconventional song that WILSON chose to reproduce and one original song by WILSON. Also, in 2004, WILSON put out his experimental electronic album "Unreleased Electronic Music Vol. 1." Neither the "Cover Version" singles nor "Unreleased Electronic Music" feature any other performers, aside from some input from THEO TRAVIS on the latter.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2013 ⭐

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2011 ⭐

That trend changed at the end of 2008, however, when WILSON released his first full-length, proper solo album, "Insurgentes." Featuring, among others, PORCUPINE TREE drummer Gavin Harrison, Prog bass legend TONY LEVIN, current DREAM THEATER keyboardist JORDAN RUDESS, and saxophonist/flautist THEO TRAVIS, "Insurgentes" proves rather quickly that it is not simply another ambient or electronic release. Toying with many of the styles that can be seen in PORCUPINE TREE, "Insurgentes" is a mature, laid-back album marked by less metal and more noise than PT's later albums. WILSON has stated that the album draws a lot o...
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STEVEN WILSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STEVEN WILSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 1117 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.19 | 1837 ratings
Grace For Drowning
2011
4.28 | 2210 ratings
The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
2013
4.29 | 1640 ratings
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2015
3.51 | 533 ratings
4
2016
3.56 | 517 ratings
To the Bone
2017
2.98 | 241 ratings
The Future Bites
2021

STEVEN WILSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.32 | 194 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012
4.57 | 54 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2017
4.48 | 64 ratings
Home Invasion (In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall)
2018

STEVEN WILSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.54 | 147 ratings
Insurgentes - The Movie
2010
4.61 | 317 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2012
4.67 | 69 ratings
Home Invasion : In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
2018

STEVEN WILSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.81 | 119 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
2.92 | 6 ratings
Tape Experiments 1985 - 86
2010
3.19 | 139 ratings
Cover Version
2014
3.44 | 84 ratings
Transience
2015

STEVEN WILSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 50 ratings
Cover Version
2003
3.67 | 48 ratings
Cover Version II
2004
3.71 | 48 ratings
Cover Version III
2005
3.45 | 57 ratings
Unreleased Electronic Music
2005
3.81 | 45 ratings
Cover Version IV
2006
3.47 | 49 ratings
Cover Version V
2008
4.43 | 79 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.52 | 61 ratings
Vapour Trail Lullaby
2010
3.62 | 56 ratings
Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
2010
3.33 | 9 ratings
Demos
2010
4.04 | 48 ratings
Postcard
2011
3.85 | 26 ratings
Cut Ribbon
2012
4.01 | 130 ratings
Drive Home
2013
4.57 | 14 ratings
Luminol / The Watchmaker
2013
4.18 | 17 ratings
Happiness III
2016
3.52 | 29 ratings
Last Day of June - The Complete Game Soundtrack
2017
3.00 | 14 ratings
Permanating
2017
3.36 | 11 ratings
Song of I
2017
3.64 | 14 ratings
Pariah
2017
3.31 | 13 ratings
The Same Asylum as Before
2017
3.55 | 11 ratings
Refuge
2017
3.25 | 12 ratings
Nowhere Now
2017
3.30 | 20 ratings
How Big the Space
2018
2.67 | 27 ratings
Eminent Sleaze
2020
2.76 | 28 ratings
12 Things I Forgot
2020
3.00 | 24 ratings
The B-Sides Collection
2020
2.78 | 18 ratings
King Ghost
2020
3.00 | 19 ratings
Personal Shopper
2020
2.00 | 7 ratings
Anyone but Me
2021

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Insurgentes by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.82 | 1117 ratings

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Insurgentes
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Steven Wilson's first studio full-length solo album released under his own name is Insurgentes, released in 2008. In respect to Porcupine Tree's discography, this was between their albums "Fear of a Blank Planet" (2007) and "The Incident" (2009), which are their last two studio releases. The music on "Insurgentes" reflects the feel of the music from both of these albums; dark, sinister and an effective use of dynamics. Wilson believed that music didn't have to be loud to be evil and dark, and he proves that beyond all doubt in this album. However, as is the case with all of Porcupine Tree's albums in their later years, the music is also strikingly beautiful and emotional.

The big difference here between SW's solo album and PT's albums is that this one is almost unapologetically sinister where is PT's albums you often got bits of sunlight and hope in them, there just isn't much of that to grasp onto in this album. That's okay, because that is what Wilson does best. "Insurgentes" has a very powerful punch to it that echoes in your head long after you stop listening. The album itself was recorded in several different studios worldwide. One of those places is near Mexico City which is where the avenue that the album is named after is located; Avenida de los Insurgentes.

This excellent album is very dynamic, is quite dark and foreboding, yet it is pensive and lovely at the same time. It's this style that made Wilson so popular among heavy prog lovers. Wilson says he took inspiration from many different styles including shoegaze, post-rock, drone rock and etc for the songs on this album. He also brings along a lot of guests to help out on the album including Gavin Harrison, Tony Levin, Jordan Rudess, Clodagh Simonds, Theo Travis and many others.

Harmony Korine - Mid-tempo and dark with a jangling and descending riff supporting a familiar Wilson vocal tune. Heavy, repeated guitar chords build tension while sudden cut-offs provide some silent seconds to catch your breath. Sounds very much like it could have been a Porcupine Tree track.

Abandoner - Electronic percussion brings in a simple keyboard backing. Dissonant acoustic guitar plays against the simple synth as Steven's eerie vocals carry the tune. The minor key evokes the feeling of unease and later, eerie guitar quietly announce a sudden explosion of heavy darkness that seems to come out of nowhere. Dark and forboding.

Salvaging - A slow, steady beat along with a pounding bass pushes this one forward. Again, more of Steven's dark and dismal beauty permeates this track which brings in heavy guitar riffs in early. After 3 minutes, heavy, fuzzy guitar blasts forth over the pounding bass riff which continues to build tension. Vocals return at 4 minutes, then the whole thing quiets down to synths, a drum beat (which soon ends) and then things take an almost orchestral turn. Beautiful, chiming guitar notes echo above the strings as this lovely section continues. However, after a while, the strings sound threatening and then plodding percussion and heavy dissonant droning takes over and pulls this track reluctantly to it's ending.

Veneno Para Las Hadas - This one turns more atmospheric and pensive and the vocals take the melody against this more minimal background. The music swells slightly as it nears the middle and the repeating bass note in the background brings in tension as a lovely synth melody plays, but doesn't take over. The softer sound continues and finally the chord resolves around 4 minutes in. The rest of the song mirrors a bit of hope as the song softens to a soft and muted piano as it ends.

No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun - Soft, but rambling percussion and sudden loud guitar outbursts make this one a bit trance-like. The bass builds the main riff in the background, getting louder and louder and the guitar gets more forceful. It all crescendos to a dark and heavy groove while the guitar literally wails over the top of it all, and it still builds in intensity and loudness. After 3 minutes, the climax is reached and things become quite dark and intense as it pushes forward. This suddenly drops off around 4 minutes as it gets quiet with just a bass, soft percussion again, and whispered vocals which soon take on a hesitant melody. Things build and suddenly break off quickly throughout as Wilson plays around with dynamics as he does so well. The arpeggio of the piano is quite appealing also in the last half.

Significant Other - A nice, smooth track that has the feel of "Lazarus", heavenly and lovely, but still dark and foreboding at the same time. This almost has an alt-metal feel to it. The beat is steady this time and has that Pink Floyd feel to it that we all love from SW. It does manage to get quite loud towards the end however as everything is pushed to the brink to suddenly break off to soft chimes.

Only Child - A steady, straight ahead beat and a solid bass line support the vocals as guitar effects swirl around it all. There is a somewhat noisy instrumental break and intensity is built up for the 3rd verse.

Twilight Coda - Slow, peaceful, yet somewhat menacing short instrumental using mostly acoustics and lots of atmospheric effects.

Get All You Deserve - Slow and pensive, Steven's falsetto vocals with dark piano with some echo. It's not until past the halfway mark before loud guitar chords and heavy percussion comes in, then it slowly crescendos into a noisy ending.

Insurgentes - Somewhat similar to the feeling "Collapse the Light into Dark" from In Absentia. Repeated piano chords and a nice vocal melody, however some soft guitar joins in later. It's a nice coda to the album.

As is the case with Porcupine Tree albums, this album also came in a limited edition which contained a 2nd CD with songs recorded in the same sessions but were left off the main album. There are 5 more tracks included on the second disc and 4 of these five were included on the vinyl edition as Side D. These tracks continue in the same vein as the rest of the album, but you can never get enough of a great thing, so you'll want to hunt down the extra tracks. "Port Rubicon" is a study in dynamics going from soft and pensive to slogging and noisy heaviness. "Puncture Wound" is more straightforward, but the synths take on the menacing and dark tones here. "Collecting Space" is a great instrumental, that might sound a bit unfinished, but it is understood why it was left off because it sounds a bit out of place and "sunnier" than most of the album. The stringed koto is worth the trip as it sounds really cool. "Insurgentes (Mexico)" is a different version of the song from the regular album. The last track is untitled but is actually the b-side to the "Harmony Korine" single which is called "The 78".

This is really a hard hitting album which fans of the latter Porcupine Tree albums will probably also love. It follows a lot of the same formulas as those albums with dark and dynamic songs which range from quiet and pensive to loud and heavy sometimes without warning. I find it even darker and more brooding than those albums, but it still brings me the same satisfaction. I do miss some of the bright sections that keep the PT albums from being overly depressing however, and that tends to drive the overall rating down for me, but the album is still one that I play quite often anyway.

 The Future Bites by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
2.98 | 241 ratings

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The Future Bites
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Gorgut Muncher

1 stars Four chords that didn't make a million?

I'm going to call things for what they are. This is a disaster.

I'm pretty sure most people seem have some sort of respect towards Steven Wilson due to his early (and undoubtedly good) early records in bands such as Porcupine Tree, and with his first three solo records. It's clear that he has a solid discography, but for me that's pretty much it. Some people go ahead and call him a god of prog, which is honestly comical. Average vocalist, average guitarist, the thing he was (I repeat, was) truly good at was composition.

But let's ignore for a moment all that, and focus only on this work. This record which is the amalgamation of all the decaying aspects of Steven Wilson of the last couple of years.

First of all, not prog. Not even in the slightest. Steven Wilson is so submerged in the "I can do whatever I want with my music" idea that he doesn't realize he's making poor and mediocre content, almost as if he was his only sense of perspective towards music, in other words, zero musicality. Songs are basically simplistic alternative electronic music, they entirely revolve around having a catchy chorus or beat line, although it definitely fails at those things.

The lyrical content is honestly just funny. A recurring theme of the album is anti-capitalism, which means that either he has an amazing sense of humor and a massively layered irony, or he doesn't realize that he, himself, is a capitalist person, judging by the way he lives. It might sound out of place to mention this, but lyrical content is essential to the record.

In this record, Steven Wilson doesn't play the guitar. You can be totally fine with that, but the excuse he gives for it is so arrogant:

"I don't enjoy guitar music anymore"

A vague description right? Guitar music? What is that supposed to mean? Does that mean that if you play him an Eddie Van Halen solo he's just going to be like "meh"? Does that mean that tons of genres just can't satisfy him anymore?

As much as I am a metalhead, I can still enjoy pop, it's not my favorite thing at all but it's a genre that definitely has its highlights, but this record is on the bad side of pop. I seriously think I would enjoy an average Taylor Swift album more than this boring and stale synth-pop mess.

I don't usually like being harsh on words but this record is terrible and Steven Wilson, to be specific, is an artist I have always found to be slightly overrated in most prog communities. His good music is far behind him.

One star without a doubt. I can't even say it's for fans because even his fans think it's one of his worst works to date. This album bites, but it's not the bite of an attractive french girl, it's the bite of a god damn Megalodon shark.

 The Future Bites by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
2.98 | 241 ratings

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The Future Bites
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Here is my review of Steven Wilson's new album, which continues to disappoint his lifelong fans despite the moderate quality of the music he continues to produce.

The Future Bites brings us with a Wilson more focused than ever on a modern synth-pop with electronic touches, which has almost nothing to do with the fantastic progressive rock that made him big, and to which it owes its fame, to be honest.

So if you don't like artists like Billy Eilish, Annie Lennox or Depeche Mode, which I've heard snippets of in this The Future bites, you better steer clear of this release. As far as I am concerned, I can only continue dreaming of a return of Porcupine Tree, or at least that Steven Wilson reconsiders and returns to the quality of records like The Raven that Refused to Sing or Hand Cannot Erase.

Best Tracks: Self (I like the robotic vocals at the beginning), 12 Things I Forgot (good British pop song) and Personal Shopper (electronic, hypnotic and genuine)

My Rating: **

 To the Bone by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.56 | 517 ratings

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To the Bone
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I still can't figure out how one of the brightest minds in progressive rock today released an album like To the Bone. Completely irrelevant, uninspired, and to top it all, overproduced!

In a way I can understand Steven Wilson's attempt to get out of his comfort zone. After three complex albums, very progressive and following a more or less homogeneous path, I understand that I would like to do something different.

But this collection of pop-rock songs with electronic glimpses leaves me very cold, except in some (rare) moments in which the genius that we all know that Steven Wilson carries within emerges.

A full-blown disappointment.

Best Tracks: Pariah (good vocal melodies), The Same Asylum as Before (although it contains a riff copied from the song Another Way by Savatage) and Detonation (intense instrumental interlude)

My Rating: **

 4  by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.51 | 533 ratings

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4
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In the time elapsed between the incredible Hand Cannot Erase and To the Bone, Steven Wilson released this compilation of previously unreleased songs recorded in the sessions of his two previous albums!

And while the record opens in an impressive way with My Book of Regrets, it is true that later it becomes something more conventional and of a more moderate quality.

However, Steven Wilson fans will have a great time with good songs like Happiness III, the touches of No-Man that Sunday Rain Sets In has, and Vermillioncore, which seems to be taken from the In Absentia sessions.

Nevertheless, I consider 4 a minor album in Wilson's career.

Best Tracks: My Book of Regrets and Vermillioncore.

My Rating: ***

 The Future Bites by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
2.98 | 241 ratings

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The Future Bites
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by King Brimstone

2 stars - Review #12 -

This album gave me a couple chuckles, but not good ones. I seriously can't believe how Steven has literally been going downhill since The Raven That Refused To Sing, it's sad because at that time he was seriously the best progressive rock artist in the world.

While Hand. Cannot. Erase. wasn't in my favorites, it was still a very enjoyable album. Same with To The Bone, even if it was a little bit more pop oriented. I personally don't have any problem with pop in fact, it's not like I'm giving this album a low rating just because it's pop or alternative rock. The reason is that this isn't very good pop/alternative and no, this album isn't progressive in any way.

As a very pop/alternative-oriented album, you should expect very cohesive tracks. Songs like Self for example, revolve around repeating an idea or melody that's supposed to be catchy. I personally found it to be pretty funny because Steven's lyrics are really bad. But not in an Andy Tillison way, where they're so bad that they end up being fun and catchy. The video was cool though, that face effect was great.

While the singles really disappointed me, I was really looking forward to the nine-minute track "Personal Shopper", since in the last album, To The Bone, the long track was the best work from the album and it really carried the whole disc. I decided to ignore the single because it was a radio-cut and radio-cuts are awful.

Yeah, it wasn't great. It wasn't memorable in the slightest and not a single melody stood with me after listening it. If I remember right, there's a part where Elton John starts saying household items (?). I don't know if that meant to be funny or if it's meant to show me that I'm a consumer, which is the type of people that this album criticizes most of the time, along with capitalism (ironic).

So, since I rated Hand. Cannot. Erase. three stars and it's much better than this, i makes sense that I rate this album two stars. I mean it's not poor, but it's not impressive either. It's just a mediocre pop album. Two Stars.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.29 | 1640 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by King Brimstone

3 stars - Review #6 -

I suppose I'm against the grain this time. I discovered Steven Wilson around the 2000s with his masterful album 'Fear Of A Blank Planet'. It became a true wonderland for me! Tons of undiscovered amazing music were in front of me so suddenly. The thing is that I've become a pretty die-hard Steven Wilson fan, mostly of his progressive metal era (In Absentia to The Incident).

With that said, I also started getting into his solo work. Insurgentes took me a while to digest but Grace For Drowning And The Raven That Refused To Sing became very quickly some of my favorite Steven Wilson albums. And I can't get into this album. Should I give it more time? I don't know, it's been five years and it still hasn't clicked on me.

After TRTRTS, Steven Wilson started to venture into more jazzy, alternative areas. More specifically, the alternative area, and that tendency has been increasing ever since this album was released. To The Bone and The Future Bites prove that. So, does prog work together well with alternative? Yes, it does. However I wouldn't say in a very impressive way.

There's actually certain parts where I do enjoy this album a lot, specially in the jazzy parts similar to TRTRTS' Drive Home, but then it gets drowned (and not in a graceful way, pun intended) by the somewhat empty, ambience-ish sections with electronic beats, reminiscent of Porcupine Tree's The Incident, that are very common all along the album. I have never been too much of a fan of such thing, since it feels like filler.

I must say that this album is great, however. It's perfectly enjoyable and you should give it a try. I personally give it three stars (good, but not essential), but you will maybe like it more.

 4  by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.51 | 533 ratings

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4
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars These are mostly older compositions that were recorded earlier in various sessions, but were not completed until 2015. "4 ", is once again typical Wilson - much more than just a series of disdainful B-sides, but just further proof of the composer's genius as a composer. The first four songs are out of "Hand. Cannot. Erase. "- Session, the fifth originally belongs to the" The Raven That Refused To Sing "-outtakes and the conclusion is a Wilson cover of the Porcupine Tree classic" Don't Hate Me ".

"My Book of Regrets" was made in 2013 and would be a phenomenal addition on both "The Raven that Refused to Sing" and "Hand.Cannot.Erase". Progressive Rock with great guitar solos, surprising twists and turns and a psychedelic touch. "Year Of The Plague" on the other hand is an atmospheric interlude created by melancholy chords and an accompaniment piano that shows the great taste of Adam Holzman. "Happiness III" follows and here the music comes back to life. Successful vocal melody and driving guitar ensure that the mood brightens up. Here Wilson shows how relatively simple melodies are arranged in such a way that the music still has a sophisticated effect. "Sunday Rain Sets In" has a beguiling intimacy until a harsh riff rips the listener. "Vermillioncore" combines Prog with rock and jazz bonds (powerful jazz rock instrumental), and brings us guitar riffs. Yes, Wilson goes metal.

"4 ", is great. Not a powerful concept album, but a high quality compilation of individual songs, which still seem like one piece.

 Insurgentes by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.82 | 1117 ratings

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Insurgentes
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Gavin Harrison on drums, Tony Levin on bass, Theo Travis on all wind instruments, Jordan Rudess on piano, the list of guest musicians is long and when you consider the well-known bands from which the instrumentalists come , and of course Wilson himself, you know right away that before us is a musical rhapsody of unbelievable proportions. For me personally, after the first listen, this album was a big step forward in the creativity of the musician himself. Steven Wilson merges the creativity of all of his side projects into a very heterogeneous, but extremely interesting sound.

"No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun" is a real demonstration of musical transformation and unquestioning departure into new spheres. Steven Wilson leaves his comfort zone with this rather weird, rather loud jazz rocker and shows completely new qualities. Despite the various elements, the journey always returns to its starting point: the desire for (rock) sound.

The album is a strong entry into the things that come with the next works, at first glance, the sometimes strange experimental excursions make the album seem bulky. The common thread is hard to guess, also because light, catchy songs pop up every now and then. It seems as if Wilson didn't know exactly where he was going, but creativity in the composition and structure of the compositions definitely comes to the fore. This album may not be a masterpiece, but it is definitely a fantastic entry into further work.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.29 | 1640 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars Started as a solo project with "Insurgentes", but matured into a permanent band structure with "The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)", followed by "Hand. Cannot. Erase." the fourth long player under the Steven Wilson banner. While the predecessor represented a collection of short stories according to the title, this time Wilson is once again devoting himself to his predilection for concept albums. The concept album finds its inspiration in the life and death of Joyce Carol Vincent- the young woman disappeared from life unnoticed by family and friends until her decayed body was found in her London apartment after two years.

Wilson does not drift into a simple, deeply dark tale about death. Rather, the focus is on life with all its nostalgically transfigured memories, love, hope, the facades built up, grief, anger and loss. Although he draws his inspiration from every corner, no matter how remote, he manages to make this mixture of diverse styles and contradicting sources, which should never really fit together, sound like one piece.

If "Raven" was self-contained, "Hand. Cannot. Erase." goes in every conceivable direction, despite a similar dynamic, and thus allowed more influences. Instead of continuing on the path to the promised land, Wilson puts jazz, including flute and saxophone, as far as possible back into the dusty corner from which he had brought it, with the exception of a few outliers. Instead, AOR, ambient, electronics, metal and pop come into the spotlight. While "Raven" nestles happily in the past of the seventies, album number four makes use of the keyboard-heavy and exuberant melodies of the eighties, combining this approach with electronic influences.

To conclude, this is definitely a masterpiece, as is "Raven". The incredible difference in the style of these two albums and the fact that they are both simply perfect show the true image of an artist who is not afraid to go into various spheres of music, and present them in the best possible way.

Thanks to Dean for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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