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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$6.98
$7.90 (used)
The Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other StoriesThe Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other Stories
KSCOPE 2013
Audio CD$7.21
$6.49 (used)
Insurgentes (CD & DVD)Insurgentes (CD & DVD)
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$11.34
$9.00 (used)
Grace for DrowningGrace for Drowning
Kscope 2011
Audio CD$6.85
$4.49 (used)
Cover VersionCover Version
Kscope 2014
Audio CD$7.52
$7.79 (used)
Get All You Deserve [Blu-ray]Get All You Deserve [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray
Kscope 2012
Blu-ray$11.72
$11.81 (used)
InsurgentesInsurgentes
Multiple Formats · Widescreen
KSCOPE 2010
DVD$7.22
$1.57 (used)
Drive Home [Blu-ray]Drive Home [Blu-ray]
Kscope 2013
Blu-ray$11.22
$10.66 (used)
Drive HomeDrive Home
CD+DVD
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$6.04
$10.35 (used)
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LP catalogue / preserve / amass (record store day 2012 exclusive - limited)
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $30.50
LP grace for drawning
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $29.41
LP insurgentes
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $31.49


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STEVEN WILSON shows & tickets


  • Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 29 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 30 May 2015
  • An Evening with Steven Wilson: Hand Cannot Erase Tour on 2 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 4 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 5 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 6 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Varsity Theater, Minneapolis on 7 Jun 2015
  • An Evening With Steven Wilson on 9 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim on 12 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Wiltern, Los Angeles on 13 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 14 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Neptune Theatre, Seattle on 17 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Vogue Theatre, Vancouver on 20 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Theatre Junction GRAND, Calgary on 23 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto on 26 Jun 2015
  • Festival international de Jazz de Montréal on 26 Jun 2015
  • FIJM: Steven Wilson on 27 Jun 2015
  • FIJM: Steven Wilson on 28 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Impérial de Québec, Québec on 29 Jun 2015
  • 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 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 | 759 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.21 | 1297 ratings
Grace for Drowning
2011
4.29 | 1373 ratings
The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
2013
4.31 | 545 ratings
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2015

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

4.27 | 149 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012

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

3.48 | 122 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)

2.86 | 92 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
3.00 | 62 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 | 60 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.67 | 47 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
3.92 | 70 ratings
Drive Home
2013

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.31 | 545 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
4.31 | 545 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
4.31 | 545 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
4.31 | 545 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
4.31 | 545 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 | 1373 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 | 1297 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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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.31 | 545 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I missed out on the preorder for the deluxe version of this album so I wll focus on the surround sound DVD and talk about on on a more personal level as there are already many detailed reviews of the music itself.

This is an album that will mark my 50th birthday for the rest of my life. It arrived about a month prior and will be one of three 2015 releases to do so, but this one will likely have the most meaning as time progresses. If you peel away the surface story, it's all about growing older, which we do everyday, and the regrets you encounter over a lifetime. Particular touching for me are the lyrics in Happy Returns addressed to a brother that one has lost touch with, but I will spare you the details.

I was amused to see an interview with Steven, where he was asked about the possiblity of a Porcupine Tree reunion and about his moving on to a "solo" career. To paraphrase: he felt he had said all he had to say through Porcupine Tree and moved on to the self titled albums so he could explore new musical territory that he couldn't in the band due to the other members particular musical tastes and what that brought to the band. This album actually impresses me as the most Porcupine Tree like music of his solo albums so far. It is particularly reminiscent to me of the albuma around and after Lightbulb Sun. Sure there are no females in the mix with PT, but come on. Not that I am complaining. Steven has a knack for putting out albums that alway appeal to me even if the feeling is not universal amonst some reviewers. This one is of course no exception.

I do have one question about Regret #9. What exactly is the regret here? That Steven didn't play anything on the track? That Adam Holzman is borrowing heavily from Jan Hammer and didn't give him a thanks a credits? That there are no vocals? I don't understand. Actually if this is reflective of a new band (the same musicians were present on The Raven That Refused To Sing) then I have no doubt their next album be equally as enjoyable.

So, I would recommend going with the blu-ray version if you have the means to play it back. It is certainly worth it for the surround sound listening experience, of which I think Steven is the undisputed master of. He has a real talent of surrounding you with the sounds be it his own music or remixing, progressive rock classics. It appears that all the artwork you would get in the deluxe version show up on screen as a coordinated slide show. Whoever laments the loss of the old LP sit down and listen experience, an album relased in this format certainly brings it back without the audio limitations and flaws of the vinyl medium. And after all it is a concept album.

Tons of bonus material on this version. A duplicate of the music with slide show and no vocals. Karaoke anyone? Some alternate version of the tracks.including a radio edit of Hand Cannot Erase (no Steven no!!!) There are also some additional images/slides included to go along with these tracks. Finally a studio documentary.

For those who can't do blu, there is a mediabook version with a high quality DVD audio disc, a standard CD version (no pretty video pictures though, as well as, sigh, a double LP version. He may have been able to spread the grooves far enough to overcome some of the audio limitations of that format, plus you get a nice LP package. I suppose you could also just download it, sigh, but why deprive yourself of a better listening experience?

At the Burning Shed store site it says Steven is a "four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree." I knew the latter but not the former. That might explain why I saw a copy of the standard CD version available at a local chain electronics and appliance store...

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.31 | 545 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by M27Barney

5 stars I am duty bound to give this five stars - because I reckon that based on musicianship, composition, and concept alone - this CD will be the finest out this year and if a CD does surpass it - than it will also be a five star effort by that fact alone. I would have had to give it five stars for the moog-solo alone - because it's so rare that a solo of such haunting perfection is attempted in todays prog - even those that are intending to be somewhat retrospective and attempting to re-capture the essence of the old- style concept album. The CD has all kinds of old-style influences merged in - I get Genesis, Rush, Yes, Floyd , Camel and Anthony Phillips - I am not going to bother taking you through the tracks again - a lot of other people have done that already - A final thought must go on the thought provoking and superb atheist lyrics - Ancestral "Distracted by their faith, ignoring every proof" - a better line I have yet to find in any CD in my collection.....This is definitely a must buy for 2015!!!

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.31 | 545 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Wilson's fourth solo album welcomes the same musicians as 'The Raven That Refused To Sing' but it sounds entirely different and that is not just due to the Theo Travis's all but absent flutes and saxophone. While the 'Raven' was a tribute to the sound of early Yes/Genesis/KC, this is very much a modern prog/pop album trying to find a middle ground between late Porcupine Tree, Blackfield pop and the delicious instrumental freak-outs from Wilson's excellent band.

It begins with a slow moody start 'First Regret', featuring some electronic beats reminding me of 'The Incident'. The 10 minute '3 Years Older' hits the scene with its already renowned 'Rush riff' that hurls us through the first 4 instrumental minutes and reappears at the end supporting a crazy organ solo from Adam Holzman. Unfortunately, the song part that sits in the middle is a very conventional and actually forgettable light pop tune. This gets worse on the next two songs. The title track sounds like a leftover from later Blackfield albums and the 'Perfect Life' is probably the cheesiest moment ever on a Wilson/PT album. All in all, despite the 'Rush' riff, a very bad start.

Then something interesting happens, 'Routine' still starts with the same type of singersongpop vocals of the previous 20 minutes but quickly turns for the good when guest singer Ninet Tayeb takes over and takes this album to a next level (well make that 5 levels up given how low we were). Even a little boys' choir joins in to spice up this interesting duet. It paves the way to what I find the most fun 25 minutes of Wilson's solo career so far. 'Home Invasion' starts like a jazzy/metallic take on 'Mother and Child Devided' but halfway in it turns into a groovy funky song. Wilson's vocals are again a bit underwhelming at first but he finds a better voice in the chorus, which seems to come straight off some Signify-era PT. I'll spare you my inadequate wordings for what happens on the instrumental 'Home Invasion'. It's a synth and guitar solo fest that's simply too good to be true, very Floydian but more virtuoso.

'Transcience' is the only 'song' on this album that I fully enjoy, it's a 'Heartattack in a Layby' meets Nick Drake doing Pink Floyd's 'Goodby Blue Sky' type of thing. Wonderful. It's followed by the exceptional 'Ancestral', another multipart long track with a 5 minute trip-hop like vocal section building up to a wonderfully epic chorus, it ends with an 8 minutes instrumental 'King Crimson in space' closing. The ending 'Happy Returns/Ascendant' suite is the type of ballad we've come to expect as a Wilson album closer. It's ok but he's done better.

Hand. Cannot. Erase. is an album of contrasts touching almost any style Wilson explored before, with some new angles on top. The main schism for me is between the (unbearable) old-school poprock of the first half and a second part that is rather dark and crammed with instrumental workouts. I must say I'm surprised of the very positive reception it got, I had taught more people would be struggling to make sense of the contrasting styles and moods on offer. Maybe Wilson's fans developed very eclectic (schizoid?) mindsets over the years.

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Thanks to dean for the artist addition.

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