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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128956

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Just back from my first listen and Wilson's new outtake album 4 1/2 is amazing!
Much grittier, more experimental and challenging than most he did.
With a length of 40 minutes, many instrumentals and him truly not giving a fuck, this sounds like a LP release of one of those classic 70s experimental bands like King Crimson or ELP.
Anything "different" and "uncommon" goes with it.
This could be his best release ever since Fear Of A Blank Planet for all the different reasons - this is Wilson's ultimate tribute to the albums that once shaped him as an musician.
Relistening now...

Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by DON.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128957

Sounds good :) I'll be giving it a listen or two on Saturday!
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128958

Just had my first listen - it is amazing, like you said, Don :)

SW's music, particularly on The Raven That Refused to Sing, was starting to edge towards being a little bit wanky for my tastes, but on Hand. Cannot. Erase. and again with this mini-album, he seems to have toned the wankiness down and put more feeling back into his songs.

I know that the over-the-top, showy-offy stuff is quite common in prog rock, but I'm not a huge fan of that style. I like the interesting song structures of prog, but I like to have the emotion and organic feeling of "alternative rock". Porcupine Tree had a great mix of those styles and SW seems to be finding the right balance again, for my taste :)

Love the new version of Don't Hate Me too :)

Oh, and you mentioned FOABP - Happiness III, I thought, had a FOABP vibe, although I checked and it actually dates back to 2003 and the Deadwing sessions.
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Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by epitome.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128965

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The first two songs are great. The first one could easily be the start of a new album - the second one is just an instrumental, but with a little expansion it could've been a full blown classic. So emotive.

Don't think much of the rest. Don't Hate Me was never one of my PT favorites, but probably prefer the original.

Funny to think, this '4 and a half' is actually 5 minutes longer than Monuments.
Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by frankB.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128968

Tracks 1 and 3 are my favourites - reminds me of Buying New Soul, where you listen to them and can hardly believe they're out-takes.

The only one I'm not totally keen on is Sunday Rain Sets In because that does still seem to have a bit of that wankery that I was talking about earlier.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128973

I saw the maestro himself live in Manchester last night - good show :)
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128977

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Awesome. I just saw the set - lots of PT stuff :)

Can't wait for him to come to Australia. Whatever year that's going to be...
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128978

Yeah, he played a nice mix. Obviously, HCE in full first - not sure I totally like the idea of playing an album in full though; one of the things I like about a live show is not really knowing what song you're about to hear. But still, it's a great album and Ancestral was awesome, much heavier than on the album.

Other highlights:
Open Car - didn't remember this being one of my favourite PT songs, but it was amazing, Index and Sleep Together. The songs of 4 1/2 were really good too, although I was a bit surprised he didn't play Happiness III.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 10 months ago #128979

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Yeah the Happiness III song is pretty easy going.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 9 months ago #129013

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Wilson's live band recorded a "solo" album without him - yet it sounds exactly like a Wilson album :yay

Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by DON.
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Steven Wilson 3 years 9 months ago #129016

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DON wrote:
Wilson's live band recorded a "solo" album without him - yet it sounds exactly like a Wilson album :yay



Sounds really good. Will look into this further.
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Steven Wilson 2 years 10 months ago #129433

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Good interview.

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Steven Wilson 2 years 9 months ago #129435

That was a great interview, thanks for sharing. I agreed with pretty much everything he said.


On a related note though... just listened to the new Blackfield album... it was underwhelming. I miss their earlier sound which was a cross between pop and alternative rock. Now it seems like every song defaults to being a ballad with a load of strings thrown in.
I don't want to sound too harsh though, I didn't hate it, just was maybe hoping for more. Maybe it will get better after I listen to it more times.
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Steven Wilson 2 years 3 months ago #129450

Everyone enjoying To The Bone? I love it. A lot of it reminds me of the poppier songs from Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun and with a hint of The Incident.
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Steven Wilson 2 years 3 months ago #129451

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The album is good. I think it may have been spoiled by the individual release of the album's best songs. I might have a different opinion if there was nothing then bang, the album.

Pariah is one of his best solo songs ever. Refuge comes in at a close second best.

Detonation & Song of the Unborn while good, seem like cheaper copies of Ancestral / Happy Returns from previous album.

I guess you can hear bits and pieces on it that remind you of past albums.

A part of me feels like something is missing from the album. Just that one song that ties everything together.

Very hard ranking the SW albums.

At the moment though, probably...

1. Hand Cannot Erase
2. To The Bone
3. Insurgentes
4. The Raven That Refused To Sing
5. Grace For Drowning

So I guess I rate it pretty highly then.
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Steven Wilson 2 years 3 months ago #129452

It is very hard ranking his albums. I think I would go with:

1. Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2. To the Bone
3. Grace for Drowning
4. Insurgentes
5. The Raven That Refused to Sing

But I'm not totally sure - they're all very good.

I think To the Bone is his most easily accessible album. Probably why it's done well on the charts here (although maybe that's just because it had more promotion).
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Steven Wilson 2 years 3 months ago #129454

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Ha, ha, ha, I knew it, I would drop out of it quite a bit.
As much as everyone seems to enjoy To The Bone, I feel like this might be his worst album ever (at least ever since The Incident), but definitely his worst solo album by a mile.
It feels to me like he tried too hard to write simpler music/pop music for the sake of writing it instead of simply letting it happen (like on Stupid Dream which succeeded as a pop album with a taste of prog imo).
The songs on To The Bone feel forced and patchy - a lot like Wilson tried to fit his usual epic prog ideas into shorter songs.
And it's entirely lacking the classic Wilson hooks and the beautiful melodies to me.
Is this really the same man who wrote Deform To Form A Star and Routine?
The longer tracks drag on and on and on without any rhyme, reason or ideas.
It's not entirely terrible, though, the production is as good as it gets but I don't feel like I needed an album like this from the man who brought us instant classics like Anesthetize and Blackest Eyes.
At the end of the day, it's well made boredom to me.
Never mind, as we know him, Wilson will try something entirely different for his next album, so the mediocrity of To The Bone doesn't bother me that much - in fact, it would be creepy if anything and everything this man touches was gold :)

My solo ranking:

1. Hand. Connot. Erase.
2. The Raven That Refused To Sing
3. Insurgentes
4. Grace For Drowning
5. 4 1/2
6. To The Bone
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Steven Wilson 2 years 3 months ago #129455

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Great to have a diversity in opinion yeah? I know when I read the comments on the Permanating vid there were some very angry Wilson fans. For me that song is nowhere near as "POP" as Steven thinks it is, and by that stretch nowhere near as "DIFFERENT" as Wilson makes out. Just an okay song, take it or leave. Pretty much where I'm at with Corgan's Aeronaut. I disagree by the way that Aeronaut is better than Oceania / Monuments material. I think it is worse.

Rating the To the Bone songs:

1. To The Bone 8/10
2. Nowhere Now 7/10
3. Pariah 10/10
4. The Same Asylum As Before 9/10
5. Refuge 10/10
6. Permanating 7/10
7. Blank Tapes 8/10
8. People Who Eat Darkness 6/10
9. Song of I 9/10
10. Detonation 8/10
11. Song of the Unborn 7/10

Top 10 Steven Wilson Solo Songs

1. Pariah
2. Veneno Para Las Hadas (Alternate Take)
3. Harmony Korine
4. My Book Of Regrets
5. Routine
6. The Raven That Refused To Sing
7. Refuge
8. 3 Years Older
9. Hand Cannot Erase
10. Raider II
Last Edit: 2 years 3 months ago by frankB.
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Steven Wilson 2 years 3 months ago #129457

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I don't like the attitude of Wilson and those "angry fans" concerning Permanating and I don't get what the fuzz was all about. Did Wilson really expect to alienate passionate fans like us with this harmless little pop song?
It's not half as offensive or revolutionary as he thinks it is and those fans bitching about it are just trolls imo; in fact, even though it's not exactly his best moment ever, Permanating is one of the few songs on To The Bone which work for me because of their streamlined simplicity.
Anyway, here's my rating of the songs:

Rating the To the Bone songs:

1. To The Bone 6/10 (Papa-rock meets Snow Patrol and pseudo-prog)
2. Nowhere Now 7/10 (A rather good, typically Wilson song)
3. Pariah 8/10 (This is beautiful! But notwehere near his best songs)
4. The Same Asylum As Before 5/10 (A desperate attempt to emulate the sound of Stupid Dream)
5. Refuge 8/10 (This works, maybe the album's finest song along with Pariah)
6. Permanating 7/10 (A well-written pop song and NOT the attempted revolution; Wilson's Run To Me)
7. Blank Tapes 10/10 (This interlude is the only time on the entire album when Wilson put some passion into his melodies)
8. People Who Eat Darkness 2/10 (Boring-ass rock rubbish that goes on and on and on and on...)
9. Song of I (8/10) (This is interesting and exciting)
10. Detonation 2/10 (Horribly uninspired self-ripoff with only one little figure used for 10 minutes straight)
11. Song of the Unborn 6/10 (Not exactly bad, not exactly good; well written mediocrity I guess)
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Steven Wilson 2 years 1 month ago #129510

My favourite songs from To The Bone are probably Pariah, Song of I and the title track.

But I come here with non-SW-related information :) I don't think we ever had a Pineapple Thief thread and we just stuck them in here for some reason? Well, that's what I'm doing anyway.

Bruce Soord, on the reissue of the first Pineapple Thief album:
"The first The Pineapple Thief album has finally been re-issued today. Here's Private Paradise, the first TPT song I ever wrote (18 years ago!). I always said back then that I was a 'guitarist who had to sing'. Sing like Billy Corgan that is. Back then I thought the Smashing Pumpkins were progs missing link. Maybe they were... Anyway, I grew out of that phase by album 3 and a half."

So it was fair of us to compare his singing on that album to BC's ;)
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