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STEVEN WILSON

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steven Wilson biography
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.

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.

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 of influence from shoe gazer, post-punk, and drone music.

Essentially, before "Insurgentes," WILSON used his solo moniker for a final catch-all for some of his music, making it difficult to draw comparisons to other bands. Nevertheless, "Insurgentes" makes it possible to site some bands with similar sound. Of notable similarity or inspiration are RADIOHEAD, JOY DIVISION, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, THE MARS VOLTA, and other WILSON projects such as BASS COMMUNION and PORCUPIN...
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Hand. Cannot. Erase.Hand. Cannot. Erase.
KSCOPE 2015
Audio CD$5.68
$7.19 (used)
The Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other StoriesThe Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other Stories
KSCOPE 2013
Audio CD$4.91
$5.09 (used)
Grace for DrowningGrace for Drowning
Kscope 2011
Audio CD$6.23
$3.99 (used)
Get All You Deserve [Blu-ray]Get All You Deserve [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray
Kscope 2012
Blu-ray$12.21
$9.27 (used)
Insurgentes (CD & DVD)Insurgentes (CD & DVD)
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.66
$10.69 (used)
Drive HomeDrive Home
CD+DVD
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$5.56
$6.89 (used)
Get All You DeserveGet All You Deserve
Box set · Deluxe Edition · CD+DVD
Kscope 2012
Audio CD$19.15
$38.63 (used)
Cover VersionCover Version
Kscope 2014
Audio CD$7.66
$7.94 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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9h 52m
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10h 29m
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10h 37m
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11h 46m
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11h 50m
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11h 53m
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11h 53m
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11h 56m
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13h 16m
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13h 18m
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LP catalogue / preserve / amass (record store day 2012 exclusive - limited)
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $30.82
LP grace for drawning
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $29.72
LP insurgentes
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $31.82


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STEVEN WILSON shows & tickets


  • Bospop 2015 on 11 Jul 2015
  • Guitare en Scène on 17 Jul 2015
  • An Evening With Steven Wilson on 15 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at La Riviera, Madrid on 16 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at BARTS, Barcelona on 17 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Casino Théâtre Barrière, Toulouse on 18 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Komplex, Zürich on 20 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Teatro Ponchielli, Cremona on 21 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 22 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at fri-son, Fribourg on 24 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Rockhal, Esch-sur-Alzette on 25 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Théâtre Sébastopol, Lille on 26 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Royal Albert Hall, London on 28 Sep 2015
  • Steven Wilson + Matt Berry at Royal Albert Hall, London on 29 Sep 2015
  • STEVEN WILSON (UK) on 24 Oct 2015
  • STEVEN WILSON (UK) on 24 Oct 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Liederhalle Hegelsaal, Stuttgart on 12 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Philharmonie, Munich on 13 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum on 15 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Congress Centrum CCH, Hamburg on 16 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Tempodrom Berlin, Berlin on 18 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Alte Oper, Frankfurt am Main on 19 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Haus Auensee, Leipzig on 20 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Swiss Life Hall, Hannover on 21 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels on 23 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Brighton Dome, Brighton on 25 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Colston Hall, Bristol on 26 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Hammersmith Apollo, London on 27 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at O2 Apollo Manchester, Manchester on 29 Jan 2016
  • Steven Wilson at Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne on 30 Jan 2016

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 | 766 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.21 | 1311 ratings
Grace for Drowning
2011
4.29 | 1391 ratings
The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
2013
4.34 | 601 ratings
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2015

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

4.26 | 149 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012

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

3.48 | 123 ratings
Insurgentes - The Movie
2010
4.59 | 235 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2012

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

2.84 | 94 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
2.98 | 67 ratings
Cover Version
2014

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

3.72 | 36 ratings
Cover Version
2003
3.62 | 34 ratings
Cover Version II
2004
3.67 | 36 ratings
Cover Version III
2005
3.75 | 36 ratings
Unreleased Electronic Music
2005
3.85 | 32 ratings
Cover Version IV
2006
3.41 | 37 ratings
Cover Version V
2008
4.48 | 62 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.66 | 48 ratings
Vapour Trail Lullaby
2010
3.59 | 35 ratings
Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
2010
3.67 | 6 ratings
Demos
2010
4.12 | 41 ratings
Postcard
2011
4.07 | 15 ratings
Cut Ribbon
2012
3.91 | 71 ratings
Drive Home
2013

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars Leave it to the genius of Steven Wilson to pick up on the disturbing story of London socialite Joyce Vincent and make the marvel and mystery of her death into the inspiration for an album --a brilliant album full of the musings and vignettes of subtle criticism of our 21st Century society. The possibility that a young, popular, almost-engaged woman of caring parents could go three years without being discovered or missed seems ludicrous, even impossible. Especially when considering that the television was on, the window wide open, and the mail and bills kept piling up inside on the floor of her front door--for three years! Amazing. What makes Steven Wilson such a genius, to me, is not his reverence for the "masters" and "masterpieces" of the past, not his incredible attention to detail in the engineering and production rooms, not his proclivity for attracting the most amazing instrumentalists to contribute to his songs and tours, but it is in his insightful articulation of the ills of contemporary society. And he's done it almost from the beginning--at least from Lightbulb Sun on. I actually don't like much of his music--as sophisticated and catchy as it is, as well- constructed and well-performed as it is, as well-produced as it is, it is usually lacking something, je ne said quoi, (I can never pinpoint it)--which is what makes me rarely feel the desire to return to many of his albums. In Steven Wilson I recognize the true genius in his lyrics, his subtle yet oh-so timely and poignant soical commentary. When we look back in 50 years for music that gave us a look at the real issues troubling our society in the opening of the 21st Century, we will be able to find it in the songs of Steven Wilson. Hand. Cannot. Erase. is definitely a work of genius, definitely a testament to our troubled times. Whereas some groups choose to focus on the big picture issues like Anekdtoen, Ulver, and Paatos, Steven Wilson chooses to focus on the microcosm--on individuals or scenes that provide us with pictures into the imbalances in our society, the odd patterns in our collective and individual consciousnesses, the disease eating away at our souls. Kudos to you, Steven, for continuing to find the cojones, the drive, as well as the right stories to satisfy your obvious need to place that ever-disturbing mirror in front of our eyes. We are such an odd--disturbingly odd--species!

The album starts off rather weakly, trying ever-so hard to breach the chasm of pop and prog for the first four songs (the fourth of which, "Perfect Life," just happens to be awesome and, yes, haunting). Yet, it's really not until the fifth song, "Routine" that Mr. Wilson and company reach the prog stride that will be necessary to please us progheads. From there on, however, the album is pure magic, power and bliss. Brilliant prog songs. Brilliant vignettes into individual lives which Mr. Wilson masterfully uses to illuminate the dysfunctional patterns and priorities that are eating way at our society.

Though not all of Hand. Cannot. Erase. is my cup of tea, I cannot argue with its masterpiece status. Steven Wilson has, once again, contributed something quite significant to posterity.

Five star songs: songs 4 through 9.

Favorite songs: "Perfect Life," "Routine," "Regret #9," and "Transience."

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Steven Wilson's latest endeavor takes us to a more "song" oriented album but with plenty of adventerous and innovative instrumental excursions to keep most Prog fans happy. I really think his other job in re-mixing seventies classics has had a very big influence on the way he made this album. The common factor with the classics by GENESIS, YES, KING CRIMSON etc. was the ability of these bands to make accessible and melodic tunes but at the same time veer off into experimental and complex instrumental passages. I feel that same connection with "Hand.Cannot.Erase". This is the first solo album from Wilson that made me think of PORCUPINE TREE quite often, yet it still has that aspect that made me think of some of his earlier solo stuff.

This is a concept album of sorts based on the strange story of Joyce Carol Vincent who was found dead in her apartment and she had been there dead for almost three years. When Steven watched the documentory on her life he just couldn't get it out of his head so here he relays a fictional story inspired by the real life story of Joyce Carol Vincent who was 38 years old at her death and by all accounts popular and attractive. So how did no one find her sooner? Steven weaves a story about a female who grows up and moves to the city and becomes isolated, lonely, nostalgic of her childhood, and he also delves into the internet aspect of her life and how it connects to these things.

So this story is being told from a female perspective but mostly it's her internal thoughts and the more isolated she becomes the more her thoughts become surreal. Steven decided to look for a female singer for some of this music because of this and was looking for a Kate Bush- like singer and it wasn't until he heard Ninet Tayeb at Aviv Geffen's suggestion that he found his singer. Man she has an amazing voice.

Some excellent guests on here including Dave Gregory the former lead guitarist for XTC one of Wilson's favourite bands as well as Dave Stewart once again helping with arrangements and more. My oldest daughter got me this through I-Tunes and it's interesting how on that download he combines "First Regret" and "3 Years Older" along with "Home Invasion" and "Regret #9" and "Happy Returns" and "Ascendant Here On".

"First Regret" is 2 minutes of hearing children laughing in the background as atmosphere rolls in and builds. It all stops as relaxed piano melodies and atmosphere take over. Drums are added late. "3 Years Older" features strummed guitar that takes over quickly followed by a full sound. I'm in heaven and check out the drum work. Killer bass lines follow then a RUSH-vibe before the guitar solos over top. It calms right down as Wilson's reserved vocals arrive. The vocal harmonies are a pleasure, very CSN&Y-like. "I will love you more than you will ever know" is a cool line. It kicks in hard but then settles quickly with piano. So much emotion here. Themes are repeated then we get an incredible instrumental workout late to the end. That RUSH vibe is back late. "Hand.Cannot.Erase" is one of the most addictive songs i've heard, especially the chorus. This has a driving rhythm and great lyrics.

"Perfect Life" is another catchy tune with emotion. Atmosphere to start then a drum machine as spoken female words arrive from a British actress. Steven comes in vocally on the chorus. This is simple but so emotional. The collage of instrumental sounds is breath- taking. "Routine" is a track that many have said is the best song on Wilson's current tour. Ninet Tayeb sings on this one and her voice has such character. Fragile vocals from Wilson and relaxed piano to start. My God! It picks up some and atmosphere is added. Ninet follows and man this is so emotional. A calm 3 minutes in until it picks up after 4 minutes and my emotion is triggered once again. A beautiful guitar solo follows then Ninet is back vocally after 5 minutes. Damn! She blows me away before 6 1 /2 minutes.

"Home Invasion" just slays. We get some Funk, Jazz and spacey sections, the latter that recalls early PORCUPINE TREE. Man Holzman kills on the keyboards here, but they all impress instrumentally. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes in and they sound determined. That spacey passage comes in after 4 minutes. Love this tune. "Regret #9" is an instrumental with a moog solo and even some banjo. An insane moog solo kicks in fairly early and goes on and on as it builds in intensity followed by an amazing guitar solo. The last minute is reflective with the sounds of children in the distance. "Transience" has reserved vocals and picked guitars with atmosphere. STORM COROSSION comes to mind here. The drifting harmonies remind me of PORCUPINE TREE.

"Ancestral" is the longest track at 13 1/2 minutes and it would have fit well on "Grace For Drowning". Wilson's voice sounds different here and Theo Travis plays sax and flute. So much depth before 4 minutes then a guitar solo. Ninet is back vocally with these vocal melodies before actually singing words. Love the guitar that follows. This is dark with some killer drum work as it builds. Kicking ass 7 minutes in, mellotron too. It's mind bending after 8 1/2 minutes and they lay the soundscape waste a minute later. An amazing guitar solo follows. "Happy Returns" is laid back with piano as strummed guitar and vocals join in. It gets fuller and the words and vocals bring emotion. A full sound 2 1/2 minutes in, so beautiful a minute later. Love the guitar late that is followed by a haunting atmosphere. It blends into "Ascendant Here On" as piano joins in and the faint sounds of children.

What can I say? This will probably be my favourite album of 2015 and it's a top three Wilson album for me with "Insurgents" and "Grace For Drowning".

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Blackwater Floyd

5 stars Every year he's published something SW has amazed us. Every record is different and unique in its own way, but they all carry that vibe, that sound, that masterful production, that genius... SW has yet to disappoint. Hand.Cannot.Erase is not what you'd expect but is flawless anyway. More pop oriented (if pop is really the way to put it) that his previous two releases, this entry carries inside a PT feel to it, mixed with the musicianship that SW's band brings in. Fabulous performances are heard all the way through, Nick Beggs in almost every song, Ninet Tayeb's hauntingly beautiful vocals in Routine and Ancestral, Adam Holzman's unmistakeable keyboards, Marco Minneman's prescence (in my opinion, one of the greatest drummers alive) and Guthrie Govan's talent. Every SW solo album has been a masterpiece with a unique touch, and this is no exception.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

4 stars Here is a case for giving an album some time before posting an opinion on it. I purchased this album on the day of it's release. At first listen, I liked it, but thought it was nothing special. But the production was so nice, I kept it in my heavy play rotation for quite some time. I've come to think of it as a great album, but not as good as the previous "The Raven That Refused To Sing".

The exceptional songs are 3 Years Older, which begins with a Rush-like riff, but soon settles into a song with the structure and feel of a Neil Morse Spock's Beard era epic, and Ancestral which I believe owes more than a little to King Crimson's Starless.

Just behind those two are the more straight ahead rockers Home Invasion and Regret #9, both powerful and familiar sounding tracks with impressive passionate solos.

Even on the lesser tracks Wilson shows his talent as producer. The title track is more of an alt rock piece than anything else, and A Perfect Life, a repetitious euro-electronica song that, in other hands, may have been unlistenable. Both are strengthened by Wilson's fine ear for finding the perfect tone for his instruments. It shows why so many classic acts are hiring him for the remix on the bicentennial celebrations of our favorite albums.

If you don't like this at first, give it a chance.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by agencement

5 stars Many reviewers already made good points on what superiority this album has both lyrically and musically and I agree on that acclaim.

Even though "Hand. Cannot. Erase." lacks virtuoso quality which makes "Raven That Refused To Sing" bright and applauded, this album has truly inventive and experimental sonic landscape.

For instance, "Routine" contains eerie and beautiful interactions among boy choirs, mellotron sound and mournful guitar works. "Ancestral" drives listeners to the bleak and sinister place. We can hear Opeth's riffs, King Crimson's dissonance and even Post-rock crescendo. "Perfect Life" is a interesting effort that try to capture bittersweet and old memories using modern and industrial electronic texture.

"Hand. Cannot. Erase." truly deserves five stars.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Eli

4 stars I have a mix feeling about this album. If I didn't know SW work and was listening to HCE as the first album, I would probably give it 5 stars. This album have it all: great composed tracks, heavy progressive parts alongside lighter, catchy, poppier songs, performed by brilliant musicians and have the best sound production only as Steven Wilson knows how. On the other hand, knowing SW from Porcupine Tree and his previous 3 albums I can't help thinking that HCE was compromised a little, maybe to give it a touch of commercial aspects on account of progrier songs. I know SW, he always wanted to be at the top, to make hits and get his radio time share, but as a brilliant musician as he is, he can't just write conservative music, he's a prog artist. HCE is a very good successor to "The Raven?" masterpiece, but not as revolutionary though.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by ergaster

3 stars 3.5/5 ... I rounded down to 3 because I just cannot squeeze a 4 out of it....

Take a cut of the heavier, proggier end of Steven Wilson and season it with a judicious pinch of jazz fusion, simmer with a touch of Blackfield and Grace for Drowning, and serve over a bed of Porcupine Tree. Present on a silver platter of fan-hype and accolades and Voila! Hand. Cannot. Erase., the new Steven Wilson solo album.

I played this album more or less regularly once the iTunes download arrived, and then a bit more after my vinyl version hit the doorstep. After owning it for a few months, I find I do not play it at all any more--probably the fastest ever that any Wilson album has lost its luster. My overall impression is of an album of pleasant tedium interrupted by moments of sheer beauty. And alas I find that there are not nearly enough moments of sheer beauty, or any other sort of exceptional moments. It is all very competently done (as is ever the case with Wilson): well composed, well sung, well played, but overall it tastes rather...not so much bland, as restrained.

On the plus side: HCE is poppier, proggier, and more purely face-melting heavy than anything Steven Wilson has done solo for a long time, and this is not a bad thing. These are skills that are not lacking in the Wilson musical recipe book, and his prog-pop (pop-prog?) work is nicely concise and to the point. The long instrumental passages and jazzy solo stretches of the last two albums are (mostly) gone. There are instrumental breaks, of course, but they move the song along and one doesn't get the feeling they were stuck in there as a showcase for somebody's chops. This is a clear improvement. The introduction and careful use of the female vocalist has worked out better than a lot of people expected: Ninet Tayeb has a wonderful voice and her parts are perfectly placed.

Wilson does have a gift for the beautiful melody, and on an album as pop-flavoured as this one, he really shines. The title track is catchy, infectious, upbeat, and surprisingly heavy at times; I've heard people say that it might be a bit too Blackfield-ish, but you know, he does this sort of thing so well. The man has such a vast repertoire; I see no problem with his pulling influences from wherever he needs to get them. Likewise the intense heavy moments are reminiscent of the metal-ish days of Porcupine Tree--which suits me fine because those were my favourite PT albums. It's nice to hear them again.

I wish there were more tracks as completely immersive as "Hand Cannot Erase" but unfortunately the other stunning moments are kind of scattershot, popping up in the midst of pleasant but otherwise unremarkable tracks: the last third of "Routine", the first bit of "First Regret/3 Years Older" for example.

And on the downside: HCE has more heart and soul than The Raven that Refused to Sing possessed, and much less (thank god) sheer wankery than was on Grace for Drowning, but despite the beautifully heartbreaking moments and joyful metal heaviness, I find it lacks a fundamental sense of adventure or daring. It is just so polite and restrained. The most applicable description is "nice", with all the innate blandness implied in the word, and the great moments are not enough to overcome that final sense of dissatisfaction at the end of the album. It could have been so much more.

I will wind up on a more positive note because the album does end well: "Ancestral" (at least the last two thirds of it) is a mighty, mighty song. It. Kicks. Ass. in the way Deadwing kicked ass, and there are sections that could have come directly from Deadwing. And "Happy Returns/Ascendant Here on..." is my favourite song on the album by far, heartbreaking and transcendently beautiful.

Alas, there just are not enough of these moments on this album. It is a tasty stew, but it is not Cordon Bleu.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.34 | 601 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by DBJ2020

5 stars The fourth Steven Wilson album has been out for around three months now, yet has not attracted as much feedback from Prog Archives readers as previous albums. Ratings are almost identical to the previously lauded "The Raven That Refused To Sing", but significantly lower in volume - 485 ratings at the time of this review. Which begs the question why?

Is the album too polarising? Some of the negative criticism suggests that it is too "pop" sounding in early stages, particularly the catchy title song. The criticisms remain until the latter part of the album. Other critics like the first half of the album finding it so very different to the previous albums. Some Porcupine Tree fans have noted that the title track is a return to some of the catchy singles of the Halo, Lightbulb Sun, Even Less and Stranger by the Minute era.

Too electro-pop? Perfect Life is a heavily electronic-influenced song that sounds like it has a drum-machine accompaniment, yet credited on the album to Marco Minneman. Just because something sounds like it was manufactured by a machine does not always mean there wasn't a human element.

Too different from the previous 70's style that drew so much acclaim for TRTRTS? Wilson himself has said he was very happy that they were able to emulate that era and used analogue recording techniques under the skilful engineering of Alan Parsons. HCE is totally different and firmly recorded in the 21st Century using plenty of digital techniques, as anyone who has seen the documentary on the Blu-ray (or on the three smaller teasers on Steven Wilson's website) would testify.

Or is it that people are now so comfortable that Wilson is going to produce a skillful, well-engineered, balanced and thought-provoking, boundary-pushing album that they are almost too bored to comment?

It's taken me a few months to rate this album, and it is not because of tedium, more so keenness to see what others think. In short the album is an essential collector ? for all of the reasons above. After listening to the deluxe edition 5.1 Blu-ray, the conceptual flow, musical clarity and sheer dynamism of the album is amazing. Fans have rated Ancestral as a classic, while others have appreciated the 70's style 3 Years Older combination of swirling keyboards and electric/acoustic guitars so reminiscent of The Who, Yes, Crimson and so many others. Yet is sounds so fresh and alive.

Regret #9 has enough keyboard sounds to satisfy Symphonic Prog lovers with a blistering guitar Solo from Guthrie Govan using a noiseless pickup Fender he had borrowed.

As other reviewers have noted all of the previous album's band members contribute, along with surprises like Nina Tayeb's amazing vocals showcased brilliantly on Routine and Katherine Jenkins' spoken part on Perfect Life. Guest appearances by other musicians (checkout the album liner), including a boy choir and soloist add to a richly diverse album. Many musicians would struggle to make such an amalgam of the above as well as mellotrons, banjos, moogs, electronica sound like music, yet the end result is an album that is cohesive, tight and very memorable.

An excellent album that deserves to be called a Masterpiece as much as TRTRTS has.

And a challenge to those that marveled at TRTRTS and felt compelled to review it and have not done so for this one - What do you think?

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.29 | 1391 ratings

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The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars It's plagiarism a-go-go with 'The Raven that Refused to Sing'.

Despite this, it's an excellent and very emotionally pleasing album from Steven Wilson. The whole gamut of his forebears is on display from 'Yes' 'Genesis' 'Rush' ''Floyd' and in particular 'King Crimson'. Thankfully he brings his own particular brand of sound to the forefront, despite all his influences.

What sets him apart from these artists is the beauty and distilled grandeur in the execution of most tracks. I'd far listen to this than any of the aforementioned bands (perhaps with the exception of 'Floyd').

There's such a huge variety of sound at play and he even manages to make a flute sound cool in 2013 which should be an impossibility in itself. Wilson has that lucky fluke of nature where he sounds just perfect for the role with his pleasant, tuneful 'Proggy' vocals in this decade.

The fact that he's the mastermind producer of the 5:1 surround re-masters of King Crimson's back catalogue should give you some idea of the kind of artist we're dealing with here. He has the perfect ear in defining musical dynamics. Crystal clear recording techniques and a wide variety of musical styles make this a very engaging album despite his continual 'hat doffing' to past artists.

It's structurally near perfect, with so much space between each 'recording track' that it gives a feeling of depth and freedom that you're unlikely to hear elsewhere on the Archives.

There are some true moments of sheer beauty on tracks such as 'Pin Drop' which has a succinct build up of layered sounds and delicate vocals quickly leading to a highly memorable chorus with swirling guitars and thudding bass that I find very difficult to get out of my skull after the finish of the album.

I decided to write this after hearing ' Hand Cannot Erase' for the first time. Despite that album's multitude of plaudits, I for one find 'The Raven that refused to Sing' much more engaging, dramatic and emotionally involving than it's successor. To me this is the peak in Steven Wilson's discography.

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 Grace for Drowning by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.21 | 1311 ratings

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Grace for Drowning
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Nobody fills almost every genre of progressive rock better than Steven Wilson, the busiest man in progressive rock today. Every album he has put out under his own name beginning with this up to the current day has been a masterpiece. The overall feel of his music is dark but that is what he does best, whether it's a soft quiet passage or a loud dramatic filled section, there is always a huge amount of emotion tied to his music.

SW says the golden era of rock music was the late 60s into the 70s because that is when music was album oriented and this allowed rock music to expand it's boundaries into both the classical and jazz realms by borrowing from the elements of those composition styles. Everyone knows, at least in the prog world, that he has had a huge part in bringing the classic progressive albums into the modern era by providing the best listening experience possible in the remastering of these albums. He was working on the King Crimson back catalog when he was writing this album, hence the heavy influence of adding brass instruments to some of the music on this album. You definitely hear shades of "20th Century Schizoid Man", "Lizard" and "Starless" in the music here, and I completely welcome this because I love how they are incorporated in the music. In fact, those passages that feature those instruments, along with the heavy guitar in some places, are the best parts of this album. The tracks "Secretarian", "No Part of Me", "Remainder the Black Dog" and "Raider II" have some of the best sections that include heavy guitar and brass together since King Crimson's "Red" album.

The other songs on here are also great compositions and all of the tracks feature amazing dynamics, from the softest murmurings to the loudest blasts of power, everything carries feeling unlike what most music can do. These songs are all well composed and thought out studies of emotion, sound, dynamic and orchestration. Although, SW plays most of the instruments here, he has also surrounded himself with amazing musicians like Tony Levin, Steve Hackett, Theo Travis, Pat Mastelotto, Jordan Rudess, Mel Collins, Dave Stewart among others. There is also many passages here with the symphonic sounds of strings and choir, each used in not an overabundance, but used when needed to add to the dynamics of the songs here.

There is so much to hear on this album, and everything is amazing. The only weak point comes early in the track listing in the song "Deform to Form a Star" which is a little too mediocre compared to the other powerful tracks on this album. Even the mostly acoustic interlude "Belle De Jour" is a lovely short instrumental that introduces the 2nd part of the album, and it has it's place and rises far above filler material.

There has been so much said about this album, and not everyone agrees with it being masterpiece material. I think a lot of the lower ratings come from the fact that a lot of SW's music is quite dark, some say it's too mellow while others say it's too loud. Well, it is all of that. I love the fact that there is so much emotion and dynamics in this album and I love that the songs fill all of the dynamic ranges from soft to loud, just like classical music does. I also love the addition of the jazz instrumentation, chord changes and other elements that are present from time to time. I also don't mind that he borrows from another favorite of mine King Crimson. No doubt that he has Robert Fripp's blessing in doing so, because he can do it in a completely believable manner.

To me, this is nothing but a masterpiece of beauty, dissonance, dynamics and emotion. But it incorporates large portions of progressive elements, which is the most apparent of all the elements here. Many people have reviewed this album, so there really isn't much more to say that hasn't already been said. The overall consensus is that it is a masterpiece, but so are most of SW's other solo albums. If you haven't heard this or any of SW's more recent albums, then what have you been waiting for, it's time to decide for yourself. If you have heard them, then you already know what I am talking about. Amazing music and amazing song writing. 5 stars without question.

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Thanks to dean for the artist addition.

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