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Steven Wilson - 4  CD (album) cover

4

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.52 | 457 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Timdano
4 stars Four and one-half - A surprise, in-between interim bridge-between album from workaholic master composer maestro mixer masterer overachiever extraordinaire Steven Wilson!

Jumping in, I'm caught by both stylistic and technical change from recent material - the 36--minute effort finds (forgive the phrase) Wilson at his solo work's most "accessible" and what I find to be the closest to the famed Porcupine Tree sound. Out are most of the avante gardish-ish jazz jam-isms we found on his seminal Raven that Refused to Sing album and to a lesser degree found on Hand Cannot Erase (though that album certainly was more "mainstream" and less jazzy). That should come as no surprise since a majority of the material here was cut from Hand Cannot Erase.

Not being a big fan of jazz in general, this, in this humble listener's opinion, is a good thing...

Highlights-

The album opener "My Books of Regrets" is a lovely nine-minute suite that, after 10 or so listens is really growing on me.

"Happiness III" is a wonderful gem, hummable and would have fit in nicely into of the lighter material we found in 2000s-era Porcupine Tree album.

"Year of the Plague" (dark, the listener can easily tell it's the only track here from Raven) and "Sunday Rain Sets in" (from WIlson's latest) are both lovely instrumental tracks- not the best he's done but great nonetheless.

Yet another vocal-free jam, "Vermillioncore" reminds me a lot of "Bornlivedie" (especially around the 2-minute mark) from one of my all-time favorites Signify.

A perfect Wilson/Ninet Tayeb duet re-imagining of 1999 Stupid Dream's "Don't Hate Me" closes the album (of course it does) finding Wilson and his solo-career comrades perfectly replicating and expanding upon the dreary 17 year-old classic. Theo Travis effortlessly replays his saxophone solo that I've always loved in this song too.

3 3/4 stars rounded to 4.

Timdano | 4/5 |

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