17.) Steven Wilson – Grace for Drowning
Steven Wilson, in the absence of a Porcupine Tree album, released one Hell of a solo album this year. It’s 2 discs (!) and Wilson considers it part of a loose conceptual album cycle with Opeth’s Heritage (#36 on my list). It does similar things as the Opeth album: it looks backwards at prog giants from the past – King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes – and wears those influences on its sleeve and also constructs the sleeve itself out of those influences and the whole shirt too is made of those influences too. It’s what you’d expect of Steven Wilson: tight songwriting (despite the length of songs), a few grand tracks, a few experiments that never achieve full lift-off. It doesn’t have the song structure issue that the Opeth album does, but it does suffer in my opinion of being too reliant upon sounds from the past. Still, this is a dynamic and enjoyable album on a number of levels. If I could like you to the 25-minute long “Raider II” I would, but instead you can settle for a 9-minute long song. Despite the flaws of these two albums, I’m excited for the third and final album in this cycle coming next year – a album that Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt (of Opeth) are writing and performing together.
Originally Posted by Delano
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