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Customer Review

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowingly good, 21 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) (Audio CD)
This is an absolutely incredible piece of work. Seriously, it's approaching genius level composition, arrangement and musicianship and has brought a much maligned genre (unfairly, in my opinion), prog rock, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. You can clearly hear the influences on this record, namely Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, Camel, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and, naturally, Alan Parsons who is the engineer on "The Raven That Refused To Sing". With this album, prolific Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson has surpassed any previous work he has been involved with, either solo or with his band, and has made a beautifully complex, artistic record that would be hailed as a classic in any pretty much any year since the late sixties. This isn't hyperbole; I own too many albums to be this impressed without good reason and don't bandy the word "genius" around without there being justification for such a high accolade, but Wilson and this tremendous project deserve all the superlatives thrown at them.

Unfortunately, this isn't an album I could write about easily without going massively in depth and I don't have the spare time or inclination to write an essay about the choice of instrumentation, the specific influences on certain tracks, the time signature changes, the stellar performances all of the musicians give, the rich textures and dynamics or the deliberately dark, heavy and slightly opaque lyrics, but, if I had the time, it's the kind of album I could enthuse about and analyse extensively. I will simply say that, from the moment it begins to the final notes, this is intelligent, emotive, creative, mind-blowing music at its absolute finest. I would recommend this without question to anybody who loves progressive rock, but would urge any lover of rock, jazz or classical to listen to this at least once, because this record has a depth and integrity that defies pigeon-holing it into any one specific genre. Just listen, that's all I ask.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Dec 2013, 07:44:34 GMT
manco82 says:
While I agree that Raven is his most accomplished album to date, it doesn't alter my view that the run of albums from "Stupid Dream" to "Fear of a Blank Planet" are masterpieces in their own right.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2013, 18:45:51 GMT
Andy Sweeney says:
I will have to listen to those works in more depth, as I have been meaning to re-investigate Steven's back catalogue a little more thoroughly after such a great album, so thanks for the comment - I'll take those two albums as my starting point to start re-listening.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2013, 19:26:46 GMT
manco82 says:
Please report back here when you do!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2014, 15:31:44 GMT
LeeP says:
Hello manco82 - Signify wasn't too shabby either!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2014, 23:24:30 BST
Possibly my favourite (featuring surely one of there finest tracks 'Dark Matter'. Still sublime after all these years).

How are you Lee anyway? Any absolutely essential musical nuggets you've unearthed over the last couple of years that you can confidently recommend?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2014, 23:32:32 BST
smoledman says:
I'd recommend Steven Wilson's ambient side project Bass Communion. Specifically "Ghosts on Magnetic Tape".
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