Rating:
N/A
Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
25 February 2013


Disc I
01. Luminol
02. Drive Home
03. The Holy Drinker
04. The Pin Drop
05. The Watchmaker
06. The Raven That Refused To Sing

Disc II [Deluxe Box Set Bonus CD]
01. Luminol [demo]
02. Drive Home [demo]
03. The Holy Drinker [demo]
04. Clock Song [unused idea]
05. The Pin Drop [demo]
06. The Watchmaker [demo]
07. The Raven That Refused To Sing [demo]

Disc III [Deluxe Boxset Bonus DVD]
01. Luminol [5.1 mix]
02. Drive Home [5.1 mix]
03. The Holy Drinker [5.1 mix]
04. The Pin Drop [5.1 mix]
05. The Watchmaker [5.1 mix]
06. The Raven That Refused To Sing [5.1 mix]
+ Art Gallery (Images By Hajo Mueller)
+ Photo Gallery (Photographs By Lasse Hoile)
+ Studio Documentary (Filmed And Edited By Lasse Hoile)

Disc IV [Deluxe Boxset Bonus Blu-Ray]
01. Luminol [5.1 mix]
02. Drive Home [5.1 mix]
03. The Holy Drinker [5.1 mix]
04. The Pin Drop [5.1 mix]
05. The Watchmaker [5.1 mix]
06. The Raven That Refused To Sing [5.1 mix]
07. Luminol [instrumental]
08. Drive Home [instrumental]
09. The Holy Drinker [instrumental]
10. The Pin Drop [instrumental]
11. The Watchmaker [instrumental]
12. The Raven That Refused To Sing [instrumental]
13. Drive Home [lounge version]
+ Art Gallery (Images By Hajo Mueller)
+ Photo Gallery (Photographs By Lasse Hoile)
+ Studio Documentary (Filmed And Edited By Lasse Hoile)


Since there's no point in talking about Porcupine Tree in the foreseeable future, let's just focus on this new Steven Wilson's solo album as it is. I've been wanting to write about it ever since I first heard it and figured it'd be an easy feat. Making up my mind about it turned out to be harder than I thought for, I have to admit, surprising reasons.

The first time I listened to the album, I was in awe. It's not that I generally like Wilson's stuff. That's a baseline for the experience but no reason for being all that impressed. However, there appeared to be some sort of aura about this album. This work felt like Wilson had really nailed something down with this release, something that doesn't happen all that often, a vibe that separates spectacular and great from merely good and average.

Credit where credit is due. Strictly speaking, this album has some ridiculously good stuff on it. "Luminol" - great track. "Holy Drinker" - awesome and probably the best one. "The Watchmaker" - not that far behind. The rest fits nicely between the three, although admittedly they don't get the upper hand on those. In this respect, the album is very sound structurally and very thought out. It feels like a whole and looks like it has a statement to make. The primary feeling that I got from it is that the way it is is the way it is supposed to be, from the first note to the last.

Moreover, while I liked Grace For Drowning, this one seemed miles ahead. First, it's shorter and much concentrated. Secondly, for some reason, it sounded so much different. Although, now listening them back to back, there's not that much of a difference in style or the atmosphere. I think the main reason why The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) sounds better is simply the first stated reason - it is far more tight.

Now, in respect of all the praise written above, I have to note two things. First, most of it is about my initial impression. Second, if I try to view the album objectively through my repeated listening experiences, I have to conclude that it is still a good release. However, despite my initial awe and conviction that it is impossible that I will not be listening to it over and over again, I found myself rather surprisingly passing it by.

I still can't put my finger on why I'm skipping it. It's as if it's so polished and well done there's virtually nothing to grab it by. So, a conclusion I've reached is that this album is just too good in its own right to be constantly appealing. All the details that usually annoy you and make you try to wrap your mind around them to fully enjoy an album, seem to be missing. "What challenge?" your mind asks and tries to solve a quadratic equation instead. Yes, I love the songs but in all honesty I'm missing a satisfactory fuzzy feeling when I'm through. Weird... It's good but not memorable enough as a whole.


Band profile: Steven Wilson
Album: The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)


 



Written on 24.05.2013 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More reviews by Ivor ››



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Unhealer - 24.05.2013 at 18:12  
Quote:
"Holy Drinker" - awesome and probably the best one


Absolutely agree And I also felt exactly like you do about the record... once you are no longer surprised by any sections and know by memory how the whole record goes, it's not that enjoyable anymore.
Now, seeing Wilson last week playing these songs live with his excellent musicians constantly avoiding to sound just like the record was a completely different deal.
Jaeryd17‍ - 24.05.2013 at 23:56  
Eh. Great review, but I think that being all around perfect just made it all around perfect. I loved this CD, though you're right that it may warrant less repeated listens than I originally felt it would. Still, I've spun this album quite a few times since its release, and it was great every time--I probably even enjoyed it more and more with each spin.
Merchant of Doom - 25.05.2013 at 11:00  
You can tell he's been remastering a lot of old prog stuff... it's like he's swallowed King Crimson, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Camel and some Canterbury sound whole, in one go, without even chewing it. I don't really see the point of this record.
BloodTears - 25.05.2013 at 13:28  
I enjoyed this album but I kind of understand what you are saying about it being so polished. it is a good exercise of prog rock.
K†ulu - 25.05.2013 at 15:28  
Yeah... this is a confusing review. I am personally disappointed by it; I found Grace for Drowning so much more interesting to explore and get into while on The Raven everything is either too obvious or it's just plain bad, I don't know which one it is.
Merchant of Doom - 25.05.2013 at 16:31  
Written by K†ulu on 25.05.2013 at 15:28

on The Raven everything is either too obvious or it's just plain bad, I don't know which one it is.


both?
R'Vannith - 25.05.2013 at 16:52  
This one's easier to listen to than the previous for me as well, it also keeps me coming back more often than GfD did, as nice as that one was. Very well structured indeed.
Stabby - 25.05.2013 at 23:33  
Thanks for expressing what I was feeling, I can't full-out love an album that can be described as a master doing what a master can be expected to do, it misses something visceral. But it is fabulous. Heh, I'm very conflicted, but I did enjoy it quite a bit.
tea[m]ster - 26.05.2013 at 17:51  
Why are you skipping it? I will tell you why! It's because deep down inside, subconsciously you want a fucking Porcupine Tree album, some fucking prog metal! Not this flashback '70's prog rock nostalgic bullshit. You want FOABP! You want Deadwing! Please Steve, comeback, comeback to the 21 century!

...that's why I skipped this...
Ivor - 26.05.2013 at 22:11  
Written by tea[m]ster on 26.05.2013 at 17:51

Why are you skipping it? I will tell you why! It's because deep down inside, subconsciously you want a fucking Porcupine Tree album, some fucking prog metal!

If I'm honest, it's not a PT album nor metal that I want. I sincerely think the three longer tracks on the album are fantastic. I'm just missing something essential there to tie the whole mix together in a way that I want to listen to it over and over again. It might very well be something that was primarily present in the PT albums, I'll grant you that, but I'm still yet to figure out what exactly that is.

I.
K†ulu - 31.05.2013 at 15:05  
Sorry for off-topic, but if anyone is interested in actually amazing new prog release, check out Anglagard's "Viljars Oga." You will not regret, I promise. It's from 2012 BTW.

Azarath - 01.06.2013 at 20:17  
Written by K†ulu on 31.05.2013 at 15:05

Sorry for off-topic, but if anyone is interested in actually amazing new prog release, check out Anglagard's "Viljars Oga." You will not regret, I promise. It's from 2012 BTW.

*snip*

Well those guys have definitely been listening to old King Crimson records. But I liked it.

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