Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Steven WILSON: "4 1/2"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Kskope
Review by: Martien Koolen

 Last yeat prog rock instrumentalist Steven Wilson released his fourth solo album called Hand Cannot Erase and that album is my personal favourite album of the year 2015! Now Wilson brings out an EP, featuring 6 songs, of which 4 originated during the Hand Cannot Erase sessions, one from the recording session of his third album The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) and the last song Don't Hate Me is a Porcupine Tree song, which originally can be found on the PT album Stupid Dream. The version of Don't Hate Me on this EP is based on a live recording during the recent European Tour and the vocals form a duet between Wilson and singer Ninet Tayeb. This version also contains a saxophone solo by Theo Travis, which is not really my cup of tea, but the melodic guitar solo at the end of the track compensates that sax solo completely.

This mini album opens with the best song on it called My Book Of Regrets; a magical prog rock track such as only Wilson can write and play; especially the guitar solo by Dave Kilminster is a treat to my ears! The instrumental Vermillioncore is another prog rock gem with great bass riffs, excellent drumming and lot of musical twists and turns, making this a perfect song to play on stage. Sunday Rain Sets In, is another instrumental song, which is kind of melancholic, dark and features lots of piano passages, acoustic guitars and creates a lot of atmosphere. Something In This Town is a rather "simple" up tempo rock song, featuring typical Wilson guitar riffs and hooks and a thundering bass guitar.

The last song is Year Of The Plague, a very atmospheric track with again acoustic guitars and lots of keyboards. Conclusion: prog god Wilson has done it again, 4 1/2 is a great mini album and I cannot wait for his fifth album, till then I can enjoy this EP as it will probably "stick" in my CD player for quite a long time.

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