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CROSSOVER PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Crossover Prog definition

Crossover Prog contains progressive rock music that, though 100% progressive, may have a musical connection to popular music-- whether it be the lack of emphasis on extended compositions, or an influence from mainstream music in addition to classical, jazz and folk. Compositions, however, still exhibit a high degree of sophistication, sometimes outright complexity, and the musicianship and virtuosity is often on a par with established Prog acts. Much like their kin in the established prog sub-genres, these groups will incorporate many major parts of what defines prog rock: the fusing of rock with the structures and discipline of more traditional musics, the use of syntheisizers and new technologies, intelligent thematics, and the expansion of the form.

The defining characteristics of Crossover Prog are a pop music influence that is largely vacant in typical prog rock. Songs tend toward shorter, more concise presentations though still reach beyond the typical verse, bridge, chorus pattern. The harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structures may be more easily digested in Crossover while not losing the musical integrity that a prog listener expects. Whereas Prog Related bands are generally commercial groups with certain prog elements or players that were involved in prog acts, Crossover Prog artists are predominantly progressive with elements of popular music.

The most representative examples for this genre include The MOODY BLUES, SUPERTRAMP, DREDG, CINEMA SHOW, RADIOHEAD.

- written by micky (Michael) and Chus (Jesus)

Current Team Members as at 12/24/14

Evolver (Scott)
kev rowland (Kevin)
tszirmay (Thomas)
ProgShine (Diego)
rogerthat (Madan)

Crossover Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Crossover Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.34 | 1145 ratings
CRIME OF THE CENTURY
Supertramp
4.34 | 934 ratings
OMMADAWN
Oldfield, Mike
4.30 | 1308 ratings
THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES)
Wilson, Steven
4.24 | 757 ratings
DOOMSDAY AFTERNOON
Phideaux
4.32 | 211 ratings
HAND. CANNOT. ERASE.
Wilson, Steven
4.20 | 1248 ratings
GRACE FOR DROWNING
Wilson, Steven
4.25 | 395 ratings
~
iamthemorning
4.20 | 648 ratings
PETER GABRIEL (3 - "MELT")
Gabriel, Peter
4.18 | 760 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART ONE)
Big Big Train
4.18 | 679 ratings
SNOWTORCH
Phideaux
4.18 | 555 ratings
THE UNDERFALL YARD
Big Big Train
4.14 | 575 ratings
DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED
Moody Blues, The
4.15 | 468 ratings
NIGHT
Gazpacho
4.12 | 590 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)
Big Big Train
4.17 | 183 ratings
QUICKLY QUICKLY QUICKLY
Tea Club, The
4.23 | 124 ratings
THE SHAMING OF THE TRUE
Gilbert, Kevin
4.15 | 209 ratings
THE HEMULIC VOLUNTARY BAND
Ritual
4.11 | 324 ratings
PASSION
Gabriel, Peter
4.06 | 829 ratings
TUBULAR BELLS
Oldfield, Mike
4.20 | 133 ratings
LOVE REMAINS THE SAME
Von Hertzen Brothers

Crossover Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Crossover Prog experts team

BROKEN CHINA
Wright, Richard
FOLKLORE
Pez
CONQUISTA
Alux Nahual
ONE OF SEVERAL POSSIBLE MUSIKS
Livgren, Kerry

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Latest Crossover Prog Music Reviews


 The Fragile by NINE INCH NAILS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.78 | 86 ratings

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The Fragile
Nine Inch Nails Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This excellent album is an example of what happens when "less is more" but you get more anyway. The sum of this album is less than it's parts. Why is this the case? Well, look at the fact that the album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. It had been several years since the release of "The Downward Spiral" and fans were anticipating the next album from NIN. That explains the reason for the sales at the beginning. But in the 2nd week of it's release, it fell to number 16 and set a record of being the biggest drop from #1. I think that is because the fans went out and bought the album and would have bought it at almost any price, but it proved to be too costly for the masses who didn't want to pay for a double album. It was too much all at once. It probably would have done better if it was released in 2 parts. The other problem with this being a double album is the music is dark and dense, as you would expect from a follow up to "The Downward Spiral" and it is difficult, especially one the first several listens, to take it all in one big dose. As great as the music is, it is hard to sit through it all in one sitting.

However, many fans have accepted it as the best album by NIN. As for myself, I find the songs more developed and adventurous. But I can't give it masterpiece status because it is an album released with 2 discs as a whole, which normally isn't a problem if it doesn't wear itself out. But the problem here, by the time you get to the 2nd disc, you lose interest, even though the music is still top notch. Take "The Wall". It is easy to sit through both discs because of the variation in the tracks. In NIN music, there is just too much repetitiveness to stay interesting through 2 discs. If you listen to them separately, they are much better and you will end up discovering the 2nd disc is actually better than the first.

There is some variety among the tracks though. I believe that the songs are slightly better individually than "The Downward Spiral" because there is a lot more variation and experimentation throughout. There are several instrumentals and atmospheric/moody passages that break up the noise, and the songs are slightly more progressive than before. You also get several tracks with Adrian Belew (from King Crimson as if you didn't know) participating. All of these things should add up to a better whole right? Well, it doesn't because it is too hard to sit through it all. So listen to it separately, it's much better. Trent even said that he should have released it in 2 parts. It is, after all, a personal record for him in that it reflects the moods and difficulties he was going through at the time. Where "The Downward Spiral" was a concept album about a fictional character, this album was a concept album about his own feelings.

There is still a lot of noise and industrial sound to this one and a lot of people might not even notice a big difference in the sound. Granted, it is hard to hear at first. But you will notice the more frequent change in dynamics, moods and sound the more you listen. Trent tried to downplay the album before the release saying that this album would sound like nothing else done by NIN but more like the most ridiculous music you've ever heard with nursery rhymes over the top of it. Of course, it's nothing like that, it is very NIN typical sounding but with a lot more atmosphere. Still an excellent album, but the whole album can't be considered a masterpiece because of the loss of interest one feels when listened to completely. Yes that is a big enough deal to me to take it from the masterpiece status that I awarded to TDS. Still an excellent addition to your collection. 4 stars.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

5 stars Steven Wilson takes us back on a another journey of his progressive rock adventure, and the expectation were high because of the quality of his music with Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and his solo albums. The music here has this atmospheric feel, almost cinematic with different moods and sounds, from melancholy, to dreamy and to explosive. From the first song "3 Years Older", there is a short reference to "Watcher of the Skies" intro, then it goes on a Rush a like sound. Sometimes we can feel the light atmosphere with the piano and the flute and at others times, the heavy blast of guitars. All this music back up with the beautiful vocals of Steven and the female singer Nibet Tayeb in some songs. "Happy Returns" and "Perfect Life" are simple songs, but the latter especially is very well done with his airy melody and melancholic feel that takes us back to the sensibility of the first Blackfield album. It also contains some modern electro beat throughout. "Regret" contains some exquisite keyboards/guitar parts. "Ancestral" has a nice crescendo with intense and heavy guitar parts that are not unlike Opeth. There's some songs that didn't do it as much for me like "Routine" with his Dire Strait guitar passage and "Happy Returns". "Home Invasion" has some nice instrumental section and cool guitar effect. This album combined the quality of songwriting and musicianship with refine arrangements. It's got a overall sound that is new and old, melancholic and modern. It's a natural evolution of the man's career that his marked by his originality and creativity.
 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

3 stars Steven Wilson is definitely one of the most talented and hard-working musicians of our age, and I don't think can anybody argue with that. Speaking for myself, I'm a fan of Porcupine Tree since the '90's, owning about 10 studio albums + a few Ep's in my collection. Furthermore, I have 3 albums from Blackfield, 1 from No-Man, and 3 of Steven Wilson's solo works. (In vinyls cd's and MP3's). I included 'The Raven that refused to sing' in my list with the best albums of 2013, but I never thought of it as a 'masterpiece'. Knowing these facts, it's up to you to continue reading this post or stop right here. Having the really big success of 'The Raven' on his shoulders, Steven Wilson had 2 options for his next album: To continue in the same style and record one more succesfull and well appreciated album in the Prog circles, or try something different. He chose the second option. Hand.Cannot.Erase is a very different album in comparison with 'The Raven' in almost every aspect. Starting from the cover, continuing with the lyrics, and finally musically. I will not make any comment for the cover (which I didn't like), but that's the least important. The important is what is hiding on the inside, right? Let's take a look at the lyrics: In 'The Raven' the lyrics were mostly metaphysical stories, horror tales, and in general there was a dark and gloomy background. This new album was "build" around the true and very sad story of Joyce Carrol Vincent, who lived a lonely life, and when she died her body was discovered after 2 years. (You can wiki her name and read about her life, which I recommend you to do). In that sense you can say that 'Hand.cannot.Erase' is a concept album. And now let's take a look at the music: 'Hand' has a very different and more "fresh" sound in comparison with the previous album. The compositions are more melodic and simpler ones, and in many ocassions the guitar is been replaced by synthesizers. (Asthemaininstrument). 'The Raven that refused to sing' was a classic modern Progressive Rock album, but I wouldn't say the same for 'Hand.Cannot.Erase'. This album has a "lighter" approach to Progressive Rock, and in some ocassions is even "flirting" with Pop. But the fans of Progressive Rock shouldn't be afraid, and they should keep their faith in Steven Wilson.Why? Because the album includes some breathtaking Prog moments, on which the performance of the extremely skilled and talented musicians is setting once more very high standards. Fine examples are the songs '3 years older' (one of the best songs here), 'Regret #9' and of course 'Ancestral'. (Without a doubt the best Prog song by far in this album). One very interesting fact is the addition of female vocals (in some songs) which must be a surprise to all those who are familiar with the works of Steven Wilson. I will conclude this article by saying that if someone ask me the question "is 'Hand.Cannot.Erase' better that 'The Raven?", the easy answer would be 'No'. But that would be very unfair, because these two albums are different in almost everything. Surely the standards of 'The Raven' are very difficult to be repeated, but what we have here is a true & tragic human story, "dressed" with beautiful music, and some Prog explosions which are impossible to be ignored. My Rating would be 3.0 - 3.5 stars thanks for reading

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by dough1225

5 stars Steven Wilson is modern Progressive Rock's figurehead with a spirited work ethic. A singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and four time Grammy nominated surround-sound genius, he has influenced Prog's steady resurgence worldwide the past 25 years. A master in the studio, he remixed (with permission of the bands) the great classic Prog albums by King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, ELP and many others but his own discography guarantees his place among the greatest of Prog legends.

Hand. Cannot. Erase. is a modern concept album inspired by the compelling real life story of a young, popular, attractive London woman who dies in her apartment and is not found for three years. The music and narrative are powerful, heartfelt, and immersive. Highly creative compositions that are atmospheric, elaborate and multidimensional as well as complex pop/rock tunes deliver Wilson's hallmark time-signature changes from melodic to metal to symphonic. This is the Prog music that Prog artists aspire to create and the rest of us celebrate. Executed and performed with precision by Wilson on vocals and several instruments and his brilliant band that includes guitar virtuoso Guthrie Govan, Prog's best bassist Nick Beggs, former Miles Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman, ever present drummer Marco Minneman plus additional musicians, singers and orchestra, this is par excellence.

The tracks in order:

1 & 2) First Regret/Three Years Older segued together is an engaging and multifaceted arrangement 3) Hand Cannot Erase is melodic pop/rock 4) Perfect Life is a beautiful song with female spoken voice and electronic landscape 5) Routine has old school Prog time-signature changes, choir, orchestration, piano and Nanet Tayeb's Floydian vocal 6) Home Invasion is a heavy, catchy song with post-punk guitar riffs 7) Regret #9 is an instrumental with Moog and a guitar solo from heaven 8) Transience is understated emotion 9) Ancestral begins with haunting strings and flute followed by percussive guitar driven heavy metal 10 & 11) Happy Returns/Ascendant Here On... is a soulful end to the story.

Seamless from song to song. One of the top 10 Progressive Rock albums of all time. A masterpiece!

- JD, host of Closer to the Edge, AshevilleFM

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by chuckyfunk

5 stars Like other reviewer stated, giving this album five stars would be unfair to the true masterpieces of the golden age. BUT! I believe that this album truly deserves a place up there with other important works of the past, and this is not because of the sound resemblance of such works in some parts of this album, but because Steven created an amazing modern prog album. I don't find it fair either to label this album right away as a "retro prog" sounding album, because it really has nothing of that. As a prog musician, I find it natural to include some elements of past influences more as a homage to our past heroes, but this doesn't mean that you may lack creativity. Here, Mr. Wilson blends these few "retro" elements with some very modern ideas, which create an amazingly new sound. What I like the most about this album is that it actually presents a set of ideas very well put together to create a very listenable and enjoyable sound structure where you never grow tired of hearing. I have to admit that the Raven album was grower a to me because it sounds like a set of ideas just scrambled together all through out the length of the album. Obviously I enjoyed the aforementioned immensely, but I sensed a purpose missing whether as here you can sense the artistic expression of the artist and yes, the catchy, poppy side of the album helps a lot to give this album a far more melodic approach than its predecessors. I feel like a progressive rock work really triumphs when it sounds appealing to non prog listeners, and I'm sure that this album is one of those. Me, like probably everyone else, is longing for a PT reunion, but if Mr. Wilson keeps evolving like this, we don't really need another PT, do we?
 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Lear'sFool

2 stars Do I have to be the one to rain on the parade? Well, I remember the run up to the album's release, when some singles were released and most gulped; none of what was being shown sounded inspired. The promised concept and electronic rock sounded tasty, but we weren't getting anything that lived up to expectations of the great Steven Wilson making a prog stew out of those ingredients.

Actually listening to the final product started out great, as "First Regret" sounded much like and as good as the trip rock Archive put out in January with "Restriction", and flowed naturally into "3 Years Older", which came out as a neat piece of modern crossover prog that weaved various styles into a ten minute extravaganza. But, alas, that was the end of the fantastic, well-executed part of the record. What we get beyond the opening combo is some decent, nice, unoffensive and by-the-numbers modern cross. Turns out those previews were representative of most of the result. Again, uninspired. Also, once again for a post-"Fear of A Blank Planet" offering SWilson has bungled a concept beyond repair. What about any of the lyrics does it have to do with the idea he was supposedly building off of I have no clue. Not much I can say about any of the latter nine tracks in particular beyond the above, and understandably.

So, after the masterful "Grace for Drowning" and "The Raven That Refused To Sing" we get a piddling album. His use of electronic rock has been bested by the aforementioned crossover underdogs Archive, and non-prog bands the world over have proved themselves better at making concept albums than two out of the three tries Wilson has given. While this is very hard to call an out-and-out bad album, it's a very poor showing and only for a good chunk of fans. I also round down since the next time I listen to this in whole - for more than the opener - will be a long, long time from now. I'm even left half-dreading any possible Porcupine Tree reunions, since Steve seems to be charting a career trajectory that will mirror itself going forward, leading to an inevitable Son of The Incident. One last thing I wonder is if his naming of two tracks as regrets is a hidden apology note and as prophetic as the track called "Routine".

 1979 Television Special by BUSH, KATE album cover DVD/Video, 2014
3.14 | 3 ratings

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1979 Television Special
Kate Bush Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars To the question who is my all-time favourite of female musicians, the answer is KATE BUSH without any hesitation. I have enjoyed her music since my teens. But like it is the case with all of my long-time favourites (GENESIS of the 70's being the most important), I have never felt I should like everything - or, for God's sake, to have every available music - by those favourites. This fact was brought to my mind with this DVD release. The 1979 Christmastime television special starts with 'Violin', a wild, actually punkish song from the then upcoming third album Never For Ever. I simply can't stand it! I have forced myself to listen to it less than five times in my entire life, and having it now served with an artistic visual performance didn't make it any better musically. If I had been originally introduced to her music with this song, I would have needed to win a deep prejudice first before letting her to become my favourite.

Sorry for that long introduction not quite up to the point. On the other hand this speculation about the liking or disliking of one's favourites gets very poignant with this DVD. You see, first I thought: "Wow, this is Kate Bush! This is rare! This is something special indeed!" And then, after viewing it, I thought "well, naturally it was interesting to see, but I won't miss it at all after I have returned the DVD to a friend." In one word, the television performance (it's not a live concert in the truest sense) is terribly UNEVEN. Enjoyable at its best, an embarassing nuisance at its worst.

After Kate has danced in bat-like clothes and screamed all the horrible high notes of 'Violin', she gets a spare moment to change costumes while two faceless men dressed up like gigantic violins - or cellos or whatever - move slowly to Erik Satie's tiny and pretty piece 'Gymnopédie No. 1'. Next Kate sings and plays piano on 'Symphony in Blue', a fine and too forgotten track from Lionheart. In the end, I prefer this kind of honest live performance of a good song over the arty-farty coreographics for silly songs. I know, 'Them Heavy People' enjoyed success at the time and was a live favourite in her tour of '79. Kate and two men in large trench coats keep pushing each other as if they were rubberballs. It gets slightly irritating before the naive ear-worm song is over.

A choir-like introduction of "angel Gabriel" is amusing. PETER GABRIEL plays his 'Here Comes the Flood' all by himself on keyboards. We remember how he prefers that ripped-down version (also heard on the ROBERT FRIPP album Exposure, 1979) over the heavily overproduced 1977 album version. Kate's non-album track 'Ran Tan Waltz' is among her poorest songs, and the amateurish coreography (for three again) featuring Kate dressed as a man is equally silly and annoying. 'December Will Be Magic Again' appeared as a single almost a year later; here its live performance, Kate back on piano, is among highlights.

'The Wedding List' and 'Egypt' are also tracks to be released in 1980's album Never For Ever. Here the television performances are totally made up; the former song features acted scenes of the bloody wedding and the female rage with a gun, while the latter sees Kate miming the song with a veil covering her nose and her round eyes almost popping out, against various Egyptian sceneries. This kind of a cheap and half-baked music video stands time much worse than a real concert. (And when you're listening to an album, you can direct your own inner videos!) Then comes a sad ballad 'Another Day' written by Roy Harper, performed with Peter Gabriel, though probably just miming instead of real live. They sit apathically looking very tired (of each other), visualizing a dead relationship. Gabe has short hair like in the covers of his 3rd "peter gabriel" album. This song is the most valuable rarity on the whole DVD. The 45-minute set ends with 'Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake', in my opinion one of the weakest Lionheart songs. I can't say I much enjoy the semi- dance performance (again accompanied by two men); the whole thing looks somehow very gayish, a bad slice of phoney cabaret.

All in all the song selection is interestingly very unexpectable, and that certainly has its pros and cons. I would have rather chosen other songs from The Kick Inside and Lionheart. A minus comes also from the shaky end credits, totally missing the band?! Still, to give only two stars would feel too heartless. I don't recommend you to buy this DVD but it's worth seeing once. At least parts of it can be found on YouTube.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

5 stars 4.75 Stars.

So here is the hotly anticipated new album from SW which has been getting rave reviews from virtually every music critic on the internet. Its also worth me mentioning that Wilson's previous album (The Raven) remains one of my favourite albums of all time and easily the best thing he has ever written. So it's fair to say my hopes for this album were extremely high, as well as my fears of disappointment.

The concept of HCE is based around the true story of a young woman who isolated herself from the world in London and then dies. Nobody misses her for 3 years despite having lots of friends and family. Wilson created his own version of this woman and puts his own feelings and emotions into the character. You can see the level of detail he went to on the deluxe edition of the album, I was personally very impressed.

The first thing I noticed with HCE is how different it is from the Raven. The 70s Prog/Jazz -fusion that dominated the last album can only be properly found in 2 connected songs (Home Invasion and Regret #9) while the remainder of the album is a far more modern affair. HCE contains the incredibly catchy pop elements found on In Absenia along with some of the metal of FOABP and the electronic sounds of Insurgentes. This level of diversity runs the risk of making the album incoherent, but the story-line helps to successfully tie all these elements together and build momentum between songs.

In terms of mood this is actually one of the most positive albums SW has ever produced. 3 Years Older and the title track are gloriously uplifting and have some of the strongest hooks Wilson has ever written. The first half of the album is also very controlled musically, with extended solos being kept to a minimum and instead focusing on making the songs very tight and extremely detailed. It's only on the second half of HCE that Wilson allows some of the elements present on The Raven to creep back in. This is done again to tie in with the story as the main character gets lost in herself.

"First Regret" opens the album with some beautiful electronic music and piano playing. Much like GfD this piece is designed to set the mood for the album, however this time the music is engaging enough to be enjoyed as a standalone song. "3 Years Older" continues the mood on the previous song before going into an upbeat Rush style instrumental. The beat and instruments used are also very similar to the instrumental found on the second half of Genesis's The Cinema Show. Things settle down until all that remains is a simple but catchy acoustic guitar pop song. This gradually develops into a wonderful piece of Progressive Pop Rock, which combines flashy but very upbeat instrumentals with equally cheerful pop music. A wonderful song and one of my favourites from the album.

"Hand Cannot Erase" is a pure pop song, but it has to be one of the catchiest and engaging pop songs I have ever heard. Wilson does this by not compromising instrumentally and using the powerful bursts of energy found in the chorus (which is fully instrumental) to drive the entire song forward. Pop music really does not get better than this.

"Perfect Life" was the most difficult song for me to get into, mainly because of the first 2 minutes. We are introduced to guest actress Katherine Jenkins who narrates over the story. Spoken word during a song which lasts for minutes is something I personally hate as it usually bores me to sleep. Fortunately Wilson was aware of this danger and uses some engaging and constantly shifting electronic music in the background to keep me engaged. Finally the talking stops and Wilson sings the line "we have got perfect life" over and over but with much variation in the harmonies. After half a dozen listens this song really grew on me. But patience is needed when approaching this song.

"Routine" is for me the best and most original song on HCE and also one of his best songs full stop. It starts simply with Wilson singing sadly about his character being locked into a constant routine of chores. The song itself is dense and restrained musically which fits perfectly with the lyrics. Over time things gain pace and energy and Ninet's singing voice in introduced for the first time (she is a very fine singer by the way). Eventually things reach breaking point which results in her screaming in anguish in the end. The song-writing here had to be top notch for him to express the complex range of emotions, and he really pulled it off.

People who are paying attention to the story will know that the woman has now entered full isolation and is no longer in contact with anyone else. This is reflected in Home Invasion/Regret #9 which are a lot more free flowing, wild and overall more similar to The Raven. However it would be a mistake to say this is a copy-cat of his last album. As well as 70s Prog there is also modern Djent metal along with some electronic music which has been present on almost all the songs on HCE to some degree. As someone who adores The Raven these 2 songs were the most instantly accessible for me.

"Transience" and "Ancestral" make a notable change in the mood of the album. These songs are much darker and have strong connections with Insurgentes. Ancestral is the major epic of HCE and does well to live up to that role. The beginning section could have come directly from Insurgentes, it's very dark and full of electronic effects and texture. The song gradually builds and launches a powerful duet between Wilson and Ninet. What then follows is the longest instrumental on the album (around 7 minutes long!). This section contains the largest amount of metal Wilson has done since FOABP and its clear he has not lost his touch. There are plenty of twists and turns in the instrumental, all though I might have cut a minute from the running time to make it more concise. But given how concise most of the album has been, a little bit of over self-indulgence does no harm.

"Happy Returns" and "Ascendant Here On..." finish the album on a much more hopeful mood. The former has a great deal of emotion to it and a very potent instrumental while the latter is ambient music to finish the album on a gentle note. You can think of these 2 songs as Deform To Form a Star from GfD in terms of what Wilson was aiming at. We don't know if the main character survives or dies, SW left the ending to be open to interpretation.

For me personally this album does not reach the heights of The Raven, nor Fear of a Black Planet for that matter. However I still see this as one of his strongest albums and it's definitely one of his best written. What I love the most about HCE is that it manages to use the high level of detail present in Insurgentes, but this time each song is distinctive, engaging and just far more entertaining to listen to (something Insurgentes really lacked). There are very few faults here and plenty of fresh and modern ideas. The one thing I was a little disappointed was that Ninet's voice was not used all that much on the album. However alternative versions of Routine and Ancestral exist which just have her singing so it's not too big a deal.

So personally I really think HCE deserves the 5 star rating all the critics are giving it. There is such a depth of music to be enjoyed here and it has been wonderfully put together. Looks like Wilson has done a hat-trick of masterpieces, I hope he can keep it up.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.32 | 210 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Kevman28

4 stars I received my copy of Hand. Cannot. Erase yesterday morning, and am seriously impressed as always with the format I ordered, being the digipack edition with DVD Documentry etc. A nice solid item that you come to expect from SW/PT albums of late, with great artwork and album info. The documentary is nothing amazing and would not stand up to be sold separately, but is very interesting all the same, and the perfect accompaniment for the album. I would definitely recommend purchasing this version.

On to the album! - There is little point in covering the history of the album, or a track by track review, due to this being covered by others. So I will try to summarise with an overall opinion. I found myself being pleasantly surprised by this album, which occasionally steps away from the familiar often 'dark' SW sound. That is not a negative take on Steven's past work, and I genuinely love it all, however I have been hoping for a while to hear some older PT electronica sounds in the mix, and here I got it! Hand Cannot Erase delivers quite a mixture of styles, with elements of various points in Steven's career as an increasingly rewarded musician, plus some extra suprises such as the addition of female vocals on a couple of tracks. After four listens from start to finish, I find this a good solid album, with many strong moments and in places a step away from more recent albums. Five stars may be a little generous in the way that I would never place it in the same category as other 'essential masterpieces of progressive rock'. This is no Dark side of the moon - but a truly excellent album from start to finish all the same.

4 stars. Well done SW!

 Belighted by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.95 | 256 ratings

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Belighted
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars "iamthemorning" is a Russian band which has gained some attention among prog people since their debut record "~" in the year 2012. I haven't heard that record so I could not give you any points about development and so on but I have carefully overheard their second, 2014 year record "Belighted". The cover is very delightful with a nice house in the middle of a road in a powerful nature. The main musicians are Gleb Kolyadin(grand piano and keyboard) and Marjana Semkina(vocals) and also a lot of other talanted musicians you can read about on the record information.

If you are looking for true progressive rock you can directly put this record away. Iamthemorning is clsoe to prog rock sometimes but mostly the music isn't so much rock. Though is the music alternative or progressive and there are similarities with Kate Bush's expressions here and there also other prog influences. Marjana Semkina has integrity and a very artistic and high feeling way of doing her singing. On "5/4" you hear Gentle Giant ideas in this happy song(7/10). The intermissions(three) on the record are also very pleasant, especially "Intermission X"(8/10) which feels very progressive. The album's best track is "Os Lunatum" which is mystical, very melodic and powerful(9/10). Some other songs are worth mentioning as more than just good: "The Howler", "Intermission XI", "Gerda" and "Reprise of light no light"(7/10) and the other songs are also good, except a couple of less interesting things in the beginning: "Intermisson IX" and "To Human Misery".

Iamthemorning is an interesting piece of music. Harmonic and poetic songs with talanted instrumentals and a great vocalist with her own expression. I lack sometimes more challanging music here so three stars is an honest rating from me(3.23).

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