For what I was predicting would be the total antithesis of Porcupine Tree, I was not surprised that this is by far, the most challenging thing on the record. The album is written from a female perspective, and the concept and story are inspired by the case of Joyce Carol Vincent, where a woman living in a large city dies in her apartment and no one misses her for over three years, despite her having family and friends. This shows up strongly in each of his bands and projects, but it plays even more of a role in his solo efforts. And he also managed to surround himself of the best musicians imaginable to help him record his best compositions since Fear of A Blank Planet and the result was another masterpiece of modern symphonic prog. This part strongly reminds me of 'Yes' with a bit of 'The Mars Volta' thrown in as well. Get All You Deserve Fear Falls Burning Mix.
Since this is such an acclaimed album, I feel like I'm missing something here, so give it a listen anyway if you enjoy Steven Wilson's music, you'll probably enjoy it. It is quite a catchy and jazzy trip-hop track that goes by quickly. Or it's the other way round? Deform to Form a Star. The album is not a total wash, so I can give it 3 stars for the stronger tracks and for the historical value of the album since I am just fascinated with everything Wilson does. In the case of Hand. For all of the brilliant records released with Porcupine Tree, this album right here justifies his decision to separate the band and pursue his own solo endeavours. Wilson may play with traditional progressive notions here, but unlike your Flower Kings and Transatlantics, he never succumbs to them.
Very important in my opinion is the participation of Ninet Tayeb, which was a pleasant surprise to me, cause I wasn't expecting her to participate in the live shows. David Schroeder has set up a webpage dedicated to displaying Hoile's polaroids in numerical order along with their owner's names. Most of these tracks don't have a lot of information attached, so it's hard to have explanations for many of the songs here, which most times helps to shed light on what the background is for each of these experimentations. Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye. It collects songs that were written during the sessions for the previous two studio albums, Hand.
I think this is fair to say about the album as a whole, he has gone in the direction he wanted to pursue despite what listeners might think. Both the songs 'Drive Home' and 'The Pin Drop' are extremely tiring to me, and end up causing me to lose any interest in continuing to listen to the album past those points. There are a few songs a la Porcupine to entice listeners, but there is also stuff that resonates his other projects, particularly his drone project Bass Communion. Erase' and 'The Raven That Refused to Sing'. The lush title track begins as were it a Radiohead piece, but it eventually bursts into a life-affirming climax that instantly brings Anathema to mind. Putting his love and mastery of the studio to good work; he samples electronics and creates this very dark trip-hop soundscape, with a string section and disturbing lyrics to match. The first moments of this song develop as a pretty straightforward, if not quirky acoustic song, much in the vein of some latter-era Beatles tunes.
There are definitely stronger songs on the album such as 'Song of I'. It existed between 1983—1984; Wilson was 15 years old at that time. It is a short piece of music that could do well to score a scene in a film, but it is quickly dwarfed by the nightmare that comes. Because The Raven that Refused to Sing is one of the best prog records of this decade, if not the best. The production is flawless and the sound excellent. Each track on the album is based on a story of the supernatural.
Postcard Live Piano Vocal Version. That included noise music, drone, minimalism, improvisations, and virtually everything else the man has dabbled in lately. Of course, since there is a demand for anything 'Steven Wilson' it has been collected for those of us who are curious about anything he does. I'm not a big fan of this one. The original artwork has been reworked by Carl Glover for the gatefold sleeve, which also now includes sleeve notes by Steven 1. Without a doubt however, the greatest piece on the album is the gut-wrenching title track and closing piece.
However, it is a troubling new direction that I feel is not sustainable as this approach can quickly get stale. You will start to hear a countermelody during the chorus after awhile. The extras have some very professional recorded songs during rehearsals, and a 10 minutes interview with Steven. Outside the singles, the remaining songs fare pretty well. The sound suddenly reaches normal level. This album will probably not appeal to the masses that do not like the experimental music of Wilson ala Bass Communion and I.
However, I now come to regard this album highly in the Steven Wilson catalogue as it is a clear example of what prog rock is all about: developing or 'progressing' the sound of music. To make it better, a fantastic music video was made for it that fits its ghostly subject matter wonderfully- well worth checking out, if you ask me. It is experimental, creative, and very memorable. Where Is The End If There Is No Beginning. A mid tempo trip-hop beat gets established after a minute of electronic effects. There are some really great tracks here, but they are watered down by the long tracks that don't have enough change in them to keep them interesting. Some of the styles he has been known to utilize are heavy prog, psychedelic, electronica, post-rock, ambient music, drone, metal, and art rock.
For the audio, do I need to say that it's excellent? While the song undoubtedly carries on for a bit too long, it is not as big an issue as with the rest of the album, and sounds mostly great. Other songs from the album do a similar thing, such as 'Pariah' and 'Refuge'? I wonder, were she alive to hear it, what the real-world Joyce Vincent would have thought of Hand. Let's not forget that Porcupine Tree, like it or not, belongs to the past. However, the last part of the track was adapted into the 'Twilight Coda' of Wilson's album 'Insurgentes'. This one is also quite trance-like.