Sound — 10
"Grace For Drowning" 2011 was a very important album for Steven Wilson. For the perspective opened, "Was Evident" that comes something even bigger, something more masterful as long as he wished to continue on the same (and newly adopted) direction to improve some details. In which case he made three simple but effective moves. First he selected permanent musicians - partners with whom even touring as opposed to the concentration of important but alternating musicians who confided two years ago.Moreover, partially leaving the custody of sound from his hands, trusting another, equally experienced ear for engineering.Finally, make his new job more homogeneous and cuddly, and not only because this time this is a single CD. The result fully vindicates him and "The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)" is the masterpiece that "Grace For Drowning" implied. The "Luminol" which opens the disc, if we had not already heard from the live DVD "Get All You Deserve" would be a great shock to us all, as it is one of the best songs written by Steven for a long time if not the best. The story begins with "Luminol", a tale of a street busker who plays his guitar for years with no intention of stopping. This track starts immediately with heavy drums leading into a soft flute solo, pushing the opposing styles of music early in the album. With over a minute of solid music before any lyrics the beautiful and lengthy guitar riffs help draw the 12 minute long introductory song to a close after the psychedelic vocals and lyrics work alongside the music to tell the story. The triumphant end of the song leads into the next track "Drive Home", to remind us how quickly atmospheric can make the melancholy this man. Beautifully and tragically telling the story of a couple driving together when the woman mysteriously disappears. We continue with the impressive "Holy Drinker" to be a psychedelic / space / fusion abyss with epic vocals. "Pin Drop" to be heard in places as modernized Pink Floyd only the way that Steven Wilson knows how to make it. "Watchmaker" the third biggest composition is the most comprehensive of all from a melodic standpoint and this confirms that by the time the Wilson decided to play prog clearly no one catches him. And finally, that gave its name to the disc closes with perfect calm one job everything suggests that will be remembered for years. One of the most beautiful songs maybe Steven has ever made. Telling the story of an old man who lost his sister at a young age and is convinced she has come back in the form of a raven to take him with her to the next life.
Lyrics — 10
While the stories in the album are not directly related in any obvious way and lack some continuity, there is no denying the talent of this group and the passionate and thoughtful lyrics from Steven Wilson. Whether you're a long-time fan, or are just looking for a beautiful and soothing album, this is definitely one to grab. Wilson (release date 25th February) will also be releasing a deluxe edition that includes a 128 page hardback book containing lyrics and ghost stories illustrated by Hajo Mueller. But let's see What STEVEN SAYS ABOUT THE STORIES AND LYRICS himself from an interview to Musicradar. 1. "Luminol": This is a story about a street musician, a busker. It was inspired by a guy who plays in my local town says Steven. He's there every single day. It doesn't matter what the weather is like; he's always there, playing his acoustic guitar and singing these songs. Snow, rain, gale force wind nothing will stop him from being in his spot. 2. "Drive Home": The song is based on a story but one that wasn't mine; it was suggested to me by the guy [Hajo Mueller] who was illustrating, doing the artwork and the book. The idea is about a couple driving along in a car at night, very much in love; the guy is driving, and his partner his wife or girlfriend or whoever she is is in the passenger seat, and the next minute she's gone. 3. "Holy Drinker": "This one is kind of tongue in cheek. It's basically about a guy who's very pious, very religious, preachy and self-righteous. I'm thinking of TV evangelist-types guys who are prepared to tell people that they're living their lives wrong and that they're missing something because they don't believe in God or whatever it is. "He's also an alcoholic, by the way the typical scenario. He'll tell you that your life sucks and that you're bad, that you have all these vices, and meanwhile he has plenty of his own. "One day, he's in a bar and he challenges the stranger next to him to a drinking competition without realizing that this person is the Devil. Of course, you can't beat the Devil at a drinking competition you can't beat the Devil at anything and so he loses. The great irony is that he's vindicated, in a sense, but in the worst possible way. He gets dragged to Hell. 4. "The Pin Drop": "In some ways, it's one of the simplest pieces on the record, but it was also the hardest to get right. It's all about the dynamics and sustained sense of tension and release. There's really only one or two musical motifs in it, so it's all about the way it's layered and structured. We did the most takes of this song than any other. "Lyrically, it's one of two songs, consecutively on the record, about marriages or relationships gone wrong The Watchmaker being the other one. They're both songs about the idea of inertia or spaces within marriage; it's the concept that you can be with someone because it's comfortable and convenient, not because there's any love or empathy. "The song is basically sung by the wife. She's dead, she's been thrown in the river by the husband, and she's floating down in the river while singing this song from beyond death, beyond the grave, as it were. It's quite macabre. "The idea is that sometimes in a relationship there can be so much tension, so much unspoken resentment and hatred, that the tiniest thing can set off a violent episode, and in this case, one that ends in tragedy. The sound of a pin dropping on a floor can be the thing that instigates the fury. 5. "The Watchmaker": "Another adventure. This is the story of the watchmaker, the guy who is meticulous about his craft, but he never has any kind of emotional outburst, nor does he express violence or any extreme emotions whatsoever. "It's the idea of a couple who have been together for 50 years or more, purely because it was convenient and comfortable. There's a line that says something like 'You were just meant to be temporary while I waited for gold.' So it's the idea that they got together almost because they didn't want to be in a situation where they weren't dating somebody, and they've ended up together for 50 years, even though there was never a strong feeling of love between them. "If you allow yourself, life can pass you by. Time is tick, tick, ticking away. If you're not careful, you can find that your whole life has gone by, with this idea of 'Maybe I'll do this one day...' It's a very sad sentiment of regret, of what should have been and what could have been. Sometimes that feeling of comfort can be a real drug. "The watchmaker ends up killing his wife and burying her under the floorboards of his workshop. But, of course, she comes back, because she's been with him for 50 years; she's not going to leave him now. So again, it's the idea of death not making any difference in a situation. You can kill me, chop me up, bury me, but I'm still not leaving. "At the very end, it's very dark, and the wife comes back to take him with her, which is another classic ghost story, in a way." 6. "The Raven That Refused To Sing": "It's a very simple song, again about loss and mortality. I think it would be hard for anyone to write about mortality without it being, to some degree, personal. "Whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not, we're all obsessed with mortality. And we should be, because we know that one day we're going to cease to exist. We're going to die. It's the one thing that all human beings have in common. And possibly, we are the only species on earth that are aware of our own impending mortality. That's such a heavy burden to carry around with you; it does affect everything in life. "It's about an old man at the end of his life who is waiting to die. He thinks back to a time in his childhood when he was incredibly close to his older sister. She was everything to him, and he was everything to her. Unfortunately, she died when they were both very young. This is not autobiographical; it's fiction in that respect. But the guy is now at the end of his life, and he's never been able to form any other kind of relationships. He's spent his entire life alone, unable to relate to any other human beings. "A raven begins to visit this man's garden, and the raven begins to represent a symbol or a manifestation of his sister. The thing is, his sister would sing to him whenever he was afraid or insecure, and it was a calming influence on him. In his ignorance, he decides that if he can get the raven to sing to him, it will be the final proof that this is, in fact, his sister who has come back to take him with her to the next life."
Overall Impression — 10
Although oxymoron when you think that he was always the leader of any shape he was a part of. Is the first time I feel that Steven Wilson is more of a mastermind behind a disk that everyone else serves his own vision, rather than a musician who has the responsibility to define the sound and effect. Somewhat like Waters was to Pink Floyd Composer (with uppercase C deliberately) rather than the bassist. This, of course, along with the directions they take the musical preferences of Steven gives me fear for the future of Porcupine Tree, but to say my sin, with records like this, I do not even care... As a scrupulously crafted, brilliantly sustained emotional experience, "The Raven That Refused To Sing" succeeds massively. But the most marvelous and thrilling thing about it (and the most surprising) is how it comes together inside your head once it's over. Repeated listenings reveal new subtleties and meanings. Wilson, ever the southpaw, doesn't deal in easy, straightforward advances; he creeps up on you invisibly, unhurriedly, ultimately invading your soul.