A man who needs very little introduction: Steven Wilson, widely considered to be the flagbearer of 21st century progressive rock, has just released his fifth solo LP, To the Bone. Alongside its announcement earlier this year, Wilson stated that he would be departing from his usual brooding prog rock aesthetic in favour of more straightforward pop rock. As you may well imagine, this caused quite the stir amongst his followers.
Following 2015’s emotive Hand. Cannot. Erase., and the instrumental excellence of the 2016 EP, 4½, the singles released from To the Bone showed a big shift in Wilson‘s sound and songwriting. But is To the Bone on the same calibre of quality as his other albums? Can he still be considered the frontrunner of modern progressive rock?
Join Cerpin, Leth, Sacul, Frog and guest writer SirPent as they scrutinize To the Bone – the biggest, and potentially the most controversial, prog release of 2017. Will they commend or condemn Wilson‘s evolvement? There’s only one way to find out, it’s time for another Roundabout!
We’d like to remind you that our Roundabout reviews are compilations of each Prog Talk admin’s subjective opinions established after multiple listens of an album. While we may have expressed our thoughts on the album beforehand, we do not collude while writing our reviews. So without further ado, let’s talk Steven Wilson:
Mike Portnoy often said, on social media, that what we now know as The Similitude of a Dream – The Neal Morse Band‘s next double concept album -, is the best thing he’s ever played on, and is unlike anything they have ever done before. I’m paraphrasing, but he did succeed in raising the expectations of a lot of people, myself included. We all know Neal Morse to be a stellar composer, and a great multi-instrumentalist and singer, but his compositions can feel a bit formulaic at times. The most striking example might be the twin sisters on Transatlantic’s Bridge across Forever, namely “Duel with the Devil” and “Stranger in Your Soul”. The two songs share the same length, and go through similar phases in their development. Now, maybe that was the whole concept behind the album, but you can definitely see strong similarities in other works, such as Sola Scriptura and The Whirlwind. Once again, all these albums and songs I mentioned are some of my favourites, but you just know they came from the same guy. Continue reading
Welcome to another segment of Length Matters, a sort of prog dick measuring contest where we showcase the longest prog songs that come across our ears. This time, it’s from a band called The Peter Snell Experience, all the way from New-Zealand, and the piece of interest is called ‘Life in the Controposphere’, which was released in 2014. Continue reading