1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wilson being Wilson,
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This review is from: The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) [CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
A very well-produced piece of work has come out of Steven Wilson's third solo effort, combining Wilson's imaginative studio ideas, the ideas being engineered by one Alan Parsons (no doubt familiar with the theme of the album having produced Tales of Mystery and Imagination all those years ago) and some fine musicianship from his newly-assembled band. Though there are dark themes based on stories, the sound of the album is generally lighter than on his previous album, Grace For Drowning, though an established sound does follow on from that time, drawing from the influences of early 70s progressive rock.
At times these influences are a little too heavy, however, with an apparent over-reliance on flute solos and Mellotron chords straight from the King Crimson handbook to pad out some of the songs - and this is to say nothing of a loving tribute to Pink Floyd (some might call it plagiarism!) - just listen for some familiar chords during "The Watchmaker"!
That's not to take away from the quality of the songs, though. "Luminol" is memorable in a Yes sort of way, while "Drive Home" bears the classic Wilson trademarks. The best is saved for last with the title track and linchpin of the album, starting eerily with strings (I can hear Alan Parsons there), before a piano and the soft voice of Wilson comes in, setting the bleak scene before Wilson opens up and the emotion of the song and the story behind it really kicks in.
It may not be the most original album you'll ever hear, but when it comes to work like this, Steven Wilson rarely gets it wrong.