Artist: Steven Wilson
Genre: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 27th February 2015
It is already the fourth instalment in a legacy that prolific STEVEN WILSON is building for himself aside the overshadowing footsteps left by PORCUPINE TREE. The basic concept of the new album, entitled 'Hand.Cannot.Erase', revolves around a modern society phenomena, ultimately resulting one of the saddest things that could've happened. A young woman dies, she had friends, there was family, but when they found her in her apartment she was already dead for three years. Many of what happens lyrically on the new record is in some way connected to people, once held dearly and as time passed by buried in a farther corner of our minds. They're still there but for some reason have disappeared from our lives, sometimes we cannot even recall why. It shows dramatically how easy it is for some people to become invisible, how their lives become an impenetrable grey like a blank area on a map. These stories often go unnoticed. On 'Hand.Cannot.Erase', they’re told from a very personal perspective.
As we are used to when it comes to STEVEN WILSON, the whole band we have come to highly respect for their musicianship is back in pace to put this story to musical life. Those stories take up various forms on the album. It is evident after the first spin that the Jazz elements have been reduced quite a lot and that more pop music elements fluctuate within the large scale composition, as do straight rock connotations. Just take for example the album's title track. With all its efforts to be evasive of standard structures it is by Wilson's standard a relatively straight rock song, and one that comes off brighter than the whole concept would suggest, Then again, it could just be a clever façade made of colourful melodies to suggest a brighter day. 'Perfect Life', the teasing single track to whet appetite for the album perhaps was an unconventional choice to release it first. It's a diary come to music, a testament of something utterly beautiful getting torn apart with time, drenched in thick atmospheric electronics
'Routine' which features the lovely vocals of Israel-based singer Ninet Tayeb follows the path of denial, the attempt of keeping a routing, trying to keep things the way they used to be long ago, happier times. Today, it's just another way not to think of and not to deal with a certain kind of situation that otherwise would potentially shatter a person. All this clothed in wonderfully teasing piano lines and angular rhythm structures. As we reach the penultimate chapter 'Happy Returns' another tragic chapter unfolds. A birthday letter on a rainy day gives prove of how fate can strike you down with a single hard blow while fragility reigns in gently vibrating strings of an acoustic guitar and when the end has come it feels like all the world's troubles have been lifted from our shoulders and heavenly voices take the soul away , supposedly to a better place if one believes in that... Ascendant here on...
In case you've spent the money on the deluxe album edition coming as a book, just let me tell you it is well worth the money it's gonna cost you. It's conceived as a kind of journal chronicling the life of one of those invisible individuals that walk among us. Beginning in the early childhood, reaching into the adult life it's providing very personal entries, drawings, a birth certificate, drawing, paintings and photos. Wilson has gone to quite some length to deliver an all-encompassing experience; to create and document a life on these pages with secrets to discover. So grab a copy of the edition while you can. They're selling out extremely fast. Wilson has delivered yet another masterpiece in his constantly growing solo discography and I for one can't wait until the live shows begin.
01. First Regret
02. 3 Years Older
03. Hand Cannot Erase
04. Perfect Life
06. Home Invasion
07. Regret #9
10. Happy Returns
11. Ascendant Here On…
Steven Wilson – lead vocals, mellotron, keyboards, guitars, bass
Guthrie Govan – lead guitar
Nick Beggs – bass, Chapman Stick
Adam Holzman – keyboards, piano
Marco Minnemann – drums, percussion
Ninet Tayeb – vocals
Theo Travis – flute, saxophones
http://stevenwilsonhq.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/StevenWilsonHQ
Total: 10 / 10