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Steven Wilson

Transience is a collection of songs recorded from a decade of serious prog and a cover for good measure. Steven Wilson arranges the less obscure 20 minute heavy psychedelic speed jazz tunes with softer, more contemporary ones. Wilson’s solo albums are a bit different from when he was with Porcupine Tree, but still gripping and progressive. In this compilation there is Pink Floyd and quintessential Steven Wilson moments, so in no particular order, let’s dive into Transience.

“Index” and Transience are psychedelic, there is so much going on in these songs the mind stays occupied for hours. Transience has the David Gilmore arpeggio with a mid-60’s Beatles style in the vocals. “Index” is just weird, be sure and check the lyrics closely on this one. The love song, “Hand Cannot Erase,” makes it into this set bringing normality within the chaos. The cover of Alanis Morrisette’s “Thank You” is more breathy, less dancy, and more heartfelt as it’s sung with Wilson’s own conviction and relation. I like this mellow version over the pop version. “Happy Returns” is a haunting lullaby, and its tune gets stuck in your head. This song goes hand-in-hand with “The Drive Home,” it’s similar as far as the eerie cold feelings in the music. Then there’s “Lazarus,” an up-beat tune with major chords to give off a splendid vibe.

“The Pin Drop” has an early YES feel and “Deform to form a Star” also brings a heavy prog attitude. Both have amazing instrument solos; the guitar parts really stand out. “Insurgents” and “Post Card” are mellower than the others, but just as hypnotizing. “Harmony Korine” starts out softly but burns towards the end. Some of the most entertaining lyrics abide in “Happiness III” as this is one of those songs that make you chuckle and wish it would go on for another six minutes. Then there’s the magic of “Significant Other” that spins you around in a delightful way, but fills the air with a strange, beautiful noise at the end.

Steven Wilson
Written by: Tim Duran
10 out of 10

This is a wonderfully arranged best of, especially since Wilson could have chosen material with weird time signatures, over the top keyboard solos, speedy jazz licks, and drumming that would make anyone flail on their steering wheel. Instead, he chose to go deeper. If you’ve never heard Steven Wilson’s music, this is a good starter kit. It has enough prog to get your attention, but if that doesn’t grab you the music will. Vocally, he’s hypnotizing, and as a multi-instrumentalist, he’s insane. Transience is something to experience through headphones on a late night with dim lights and a glass of Scotch. I’m giving this one a 10.

Tim Duran, HMS

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