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HMS Music Spotlight

Moody and bluesy, these new sounds from Prog monster Steven Wilson pierce the mind and satisfy the soul. This is a magical thing of beauty to listen to. The group that Steven has put together has once again set the bar to new heights. I couldn’t stop listening to these six masterful tunes. So much to listen, hear and see. Images your mind projects and feelings you think you’ve felt but were afraid to understand. What does that mean? I don’t know, it just sounded cool and pensive.

“My Book of Regrets” is the first reel that sets the emotion of the record. There are deep, solemn tones and an alternative beat that makes it a sort of a bitter sweet song like the Screaming Trees song “Nearly Lost You”. Fans of Chris Squire (YES) will fall in love with the bass solo and RUSH heads will like how the guitar and drums banter during the first guitar solo.

If you have ever heard Echoes or Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd you will relate to the next song “Year of The Plegue”. It’s an instrumental atmospheric trip through time and space. Not a technical work of complexity like other Steven Wilson tunes, but simple note choices strategically placed like chess pieces. I instantly got lost in the music and easily drifted away. “Happiness III” has that Alice In Chains vibe like on the Jar Of Flies EP with a 60’s folk twist. It has a catchy chorus and lively clean electric guitar rhythms that make this song the one that gets stuck in your head and singing out loud.

Up next, “Sunday Rain Sets In” starts off where “Year of The Plegue” ended. This instrumental is very soft and spacy in the beginning, but takes a turn for the heavy late in the song for less than a minute, and then leaves you floating in a most peculiar way into the weightlessness as it fades. “Vermillioncore” is a fusion, funk, grunge continuation of “Sunday Rain”; starting off sort of jazzy with some funky bass and then moving into some Chris Cornell/Voivod weird time signature grunge groove.

Steven Wilson
4 ½
Written by: Tim Duran
10 out of 10

“Don’t Hate Me” has a little bit of the Doors in the electric piano solo and a sax solo right after each other, making the song flow like river rapids. We then get this duet with Ninet Tayeb sweet, emotional and driven with passion. The grace notes done with a simple strum on the acoustic pierce through and the moving bass line with the piano solo adds a free jazz feel.

The spaces in between each note on every song are airy and full of grace as the sounds engulf your soul. The musicianship of these professional, jazz filled, rock solid artists are something to be admired. I have only recently over the past eight months gotten into his music and am kicking myself in teeth for not hearing of it sooner. I want to give huge kudos to Steven Wilson, his band and everyone else involved in making this collection of songs. 4 ½ gets a 10. Go get this record, go get everything in Steven Wilson’s catalog. This guy is pure gold.

Tim Duran, HMS

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