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Grace for Drowning (Deluxe Edition)

Steven Wilson

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Album Review

For prolific British progressive rocker Steven Wilson, the two-CD set Grace for Drowning is his second official solo album, following 2008's Insurgentes. Recording under his own name, Wilson tends to fall somewhere between his popular Porcupine Tree group project and his ambient recordings as Bass Communion. Grace for Drowning's two discs are divided into one called Deform to Form a Star and another called Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye, both named after tracks on them. In the relatively sparse lyrics that Wilson sings with a calm, British-accented tenor, he seems melancholy at first, apparently suffering from the aftermath of a romantic breakup. "There's nothing left for me to say or do," he declares in "Postcard." By the second disc, he has become angrier about the situation, but the closing title track finds him reaching resolution and moving on. The words are spread out over music that builds and ebbs in a manner that allows for different styles and soloing by Wilson and a few musical guests. He is not abashed about evoking his prog predecessors. The obvious antecedent is Pink Floyd, particularly recalled in the space rock of "No Part of Me." The 23-minute "Raider II," coming toward the end, allows room for a flute-and-piano section that could have been excerpted from a Traffic album as well as guitar-bass-drum sections in rapid 6/4 time suggestive of Yes. By the end, Wilson has subsided into an ambient coda on "Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye," as if readying himself for the next Bass Communion album. Grace for Drowning has a particular conception in terms of its emotional journey from sadness through anger to acceptance, but it is also just another in a lengthy discography of albums by Wilson under various names in relatively similar styles.

Biography

Born: 03 November 1967 in Kingston-upon-Thames, London, Eng

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Thanks to a prolific work ethic that puts even Damon Albarn's extensive list of side projects to shame, self-taught producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has gradually become one of the U.K.'s most critically acclaimed cult artists. Born in Kingston Upon Thames in London in 1967, Wilson was inspired to pursue a career in music after devouring his parents' Pink Floyd and Donna Summer records, and by the age of 12, had already started to experiment with different guitar and recording...
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Grace for Drowning (Deluxe Edition), Steven Wilson
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