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Steven Wilson - To The Bone CD (album) cover

TO THE BONE

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.59 | 387 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I've often heard Wilson say in interviews that he feels with each album he releases that he loses fans, but gains new ones. Technically, this can't be correct, becuase his popularity has been steadily increasing for the past decade; however, the point is that his sound changes incrementally, alienating some but catching the ear of others.

You probably read that thinking that I'm going to talk about how To the Bone is a significant departure that will cause Wilson's prog base to abandon him--a departure which we'll look back to as the start of Wilson's commercial break-out. This is definitely not the case. To the Bone is not a pop album ... not even sort of kind of a pop album. But, it's not a prog album, at least not in the way that his early solo works were. To the Bone is exceptionally well inspired and very artistic rock music which I think will do the impossible: please prog fans AND attract new fans among people who don't obsess over the groups tucked away here on the archives.

Case in point ...

The other day I played the album while my fiancee (definitely not a prog fan), and I were lounging in the living room, each engaged in a different activity. The next day, she asked me to share To the Bone with her so she could listen to it again at work. Boom. Thank you Steven Wilson; you've done the impossible and not only pleased me (a prog snob whose 20's were pretty much defined by your music) and my soon to be wife (who thinks bands like Yes are just noise). Bravo.

Is To the Bone a masterwork? I don't think so--but its very close. But more importantly, it's approachable hooks, highly polished and emotive instrumental work, interesting and creative songwriting, and quietly optimistic lyrics make it a perfect entry point to the world of progressive (or at least artistic) music. Essential for Wilson fans, and highly recommended for everyone else.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |

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