Steven Wilson - To The Bone review



Reviewer:
N/A

113 users:
7.58
Band: Steven Wilson
Album: To The Bone
Release date: August 2017


01. To The Bone
02. Nowhere Now
03. Pariah
04. The Same Asylum As Before
05. Refuge
06. Permanating
07. Blank Tapes
08. People Who Eat Darkness
09. Song Of I
10. Detonation
11. Song Of Unborn


This is not a good album, and not just taken at face value. However, this is a Steven Wilson album. Given that, you could expect me to go on a long-winded argument with a favourable conclusion, praise and a cherry on top. Here's the deal, though. It's just not a good album. For all sorts of reasons. While there's more to it than meets the ear, in the end the pieces just don't fit together.

If there is anybody in the progressive rock music scene who could do their fans over and stick to their own agenda, walk away expecting those still interested to follow, it would be Steven Wilson. He's not the only or the first one but he's got the right outlook on life for that kind of castling. Scaling the heights of the chosen musical path with The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) and Hand. Cannot. Erase., there was bound to come a change of sorts. I don't think anybody wanted it to result in what is basically a pop album, albeit a good and masterfully produced pop album.

When I listened to the album for the first time, I was torn. It sounds terrible, but it sounds fantastic. Read that again. I didn't enjoy the music but I loved the sound. I didn't like or think much of the outcome but I was pleased with the bits and pieces that make up the album. It's a bit of an oxymoron, this album. It's a pop album that feels, well, just wrong. It's what a pop album is not supposed to be. It's also what a prog album is not supposed to be. It's like an itch you can't scratch.

I might have listened to the album again on the next day as well but I essentially shelved it for about a month or so... Until recently, until I watched the recording documentary, and then the itch started again. Just the abundance of detail and the attention to it is mind-boggling. There are layers and layers of it. There's Ninet Tayeb, there's harmonica, and bongo drums, but then there's electronica, and Wilson's falsetto vocals. There's an enjoyable elemental complexity to the songs but they come out sounding simple and bland on the surface.

Worst of all, like poppy songs so often do, they get stuck in my head. Not the songs themselves as a whole but all the bits and pieces of the structural complexity. I want to like this album but I can't see myself liking it. I like this album but I can't feel myself liking it. The dichotomy of it is driving me nuts. Wilson does what Wilson wants. I respect that. I admire that. And despite everything he's made me listen to this album time and again. I still can't say it's a good album but I can say I'm still interested in what he comes up with next.


 



Written on 09.11.2017 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 142 users
09.11.2017 - 22:27
Schlagintweit
Thank you for putting down on paper what we were all thinking. It's kind of a train wreck, you just can't look away
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Paul "Greasy" Slaunwhite
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10.11.2017 - 03:11
Lord Slothrop
I might be alone here, but I really like this album and it's continued to grow on me the more I listen.
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10.11.2017 - 03:39
Nick Carter
"A bad pretentious attempt" that could be the album title
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#MetalIsForEveryone
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10.11.2017 - 05:51
Malignar
Trying to figure out why this is being reviewed on Metal Storm.
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10.11.2017 - 09:24
Ivor
Staff
Written by Malignar on 10.11.2017 at 05:51

Trying to figure out why this is being reviewed on Metal Storm.

It's probably something to do with... clock speed.*

I.
----
No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
/---/
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
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10.11.2017 - 11:13
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Ivor on 10.11.2017 at 09:24

It's probably something to do with... clock speed.*

I.

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on and on south of heaven

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10.11.2017 - 12:17
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Interesting. This review is the perfect way to describe the album. The struggle is real!

In fact, this sentence in the review says it all about what I feel regarding this album: "I didn't like or think much of the outcome but I was pleased with the bits and pieces that make up the album."
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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10.11.2017 - 16:00
MetalManic
This pretty much summarizes my experience of the solo Wilson saga (minus the pop).
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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10.11.2017 - 20:44
BloodJuNkie
The Warchief
Written by Lord Slothrop on 10.11.2017 at 03:11

I might be alone here, but I really like this album and it's continued to grow on me the more I listen.


You're not alone, it's a brilliant album but people just can't accept change sometimes, well most of the times!
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12.11.2017 - 14:32
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
I want Porcupine Tree back. Excellent review and thanks.
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rekt
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13.11.2017 - 13:29
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by tea[m]ster on 12.11.2017 at 14:32

I want Porcupine Tree back. Excellent review and thanks.


Can we form a group? I've wanted them back since they released The Incident and that was almost ten years ago. Damn... Then Wilson focused on solo stuff and eventually I got into it. The last one wasn't as interesting. Now it's time to come back to PT

In all honesty, not sure if they will ever come back.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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