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Steven Wilson - 4  CD (album) cover

4

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.57 | 344 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Well we're five studio albums into Steven Wilson's solo career and I'd rate this one as the third best after my favourite "Insurgents" and "Grace For Drowning". "Insurgents" and RIVERSIDE's "Love, Fear And The Time Machine" were influenced greatly by the darker music of the 80's which clearly is my thing. The last three albums by Wilson have their more commercial side but that sad melancholy is always present thankfully as it is here. All but one of these tracks were adapted from either live songs or songs from an album session that were not used at the time. The one that wasn't either of these is "Vermillioncore" a lights out instrumental.

"My Book Of Regrets" has a cool little guitar intro as Steven comes in with vocals and soon everyone is playing. This is catchy with meaningful lyrics. The chorus is more powerful than the versus. Check out the instrumental break from 2 1/2 minutes to 5 1/2 minutes. That section starts with strummed guitar before Beggs comes in with some huge bass lines and the drums help out as well. Some nice guitar work before it settles right down and the vocals return. What a beautiful contrast with these warm vocals and that drifting sound with the earlier instrumental bombast. This is so uplifting even after Steven stops singing. It starts to pick up again before 8 1/2 minutes with vocals.

"Year Of The Plague" is a short instrumental that recalls PORCUPINE TREE with the keys that echo in this dark and ambient soundscape. Intricate acoustic guitar replaces the keys. It's simply gorgeous after 2 minutes and the piano returns late. This is all Steven Wilson by the way except for the piano by Holzman. "Happiness III" opens with the sound of traffic as strummed guitar and reserved vocals take over. Some outbursts before a minute and the vocals become stronger. Man it's so uplifting 1 1/2 minutes in then it picks up with organ and more. Love the soaring guitar from Guthrie 3 minutes in and the prominent bass. Some vocal melodies from Wilson as well.

"Sunday Rain Sets In" opens with keys that echo as flute joins in. This is very mellow until the drums, bass and piano come in around a minute. Laid back guitar before 2 minutes then we get more depth of sound. Beautiful stuff. Some sweeping mellotron then some outbursts 3 minutes in but they are brief as it calms right down with flute, keys and sparse guitar sounds. "Vermillioncore" is where they hit us with some complex, bombastic music with a strong jazz flavour. Yeah this is impressive. Beggs plays Chapman Stick too. This is a nice change from the rest of the album, these guys have chops.

"Don't Hate Me" is a PORCUPINE TREE cover(gasp). When I saw the song title before I listened to it I was hoping it wasn't the song from "Stupid Dream" even though I like it I just have never been over the moon about it. Well it is that song and they nail it! They've Steven Wilsoned it I suppose. It's still very sad but we get a complex instrumental section plus Ninet Tayeb guests singing on the chorus each time to great results. So much atmosphere to begin with then the drums start to beat and Steven comes in vocally. Again Tayeb comes in on the chorus and she's so good, what a unique voice. Check out the jazz instrumental break starting before 3 1/2 minutes. Love the fender rhodes here and the drumming. When the electric piano stops it turns very psychedelic, so much atmosphere here. The vocals are back before 8 minutes, Ninet to be exact. Love the guitar after 8 1/2 minutes to end it.

Yeah I'm a massive Wilson fan, his voice and his sad, melancholic music will always be my comfort place.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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