Review of Steven Wilson’s “Grace for Drowning”

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Released September 26,Steven Wilson’s “Grace for Drowning” has quickly become one of the constantly played albums on my Zune.

First off, the album isn’t too far from Steven Wilson’s usual albums, but at the same time it does differ greatly from Porcupine Tree and Blackfield, something I’ve always appreciated about his music. Even if some songs from each project sound similar, they all have their own feel to them.

What I especially loved about this album is that it’s not too crazy. It does have it’s odd music segments (which sound amazing), but it’s also chill enough that it’s an album that’s easy to relax to. Personally, I find it an album that’s good to listen to while writing (but that’s a trend I find with pretty much everything Steven Wilson comes up with).

I feel like the album is an even mixture of music and lyrics. I’ve stated plenty of times in other posts how I’m really not an instrumental fan, but while “Grace for Drowning” does have a lot of instrumental, it also has a good amount of amazing lyrics to counter it. Even when it’s mostly music, the music on this album is just so inspiring that I could listen to it over and over again without it bothering me. See, I do like instrumentals, it just takes some good instrumentals to win me over.

Then, besides the music and lyrics, you have the album booklet, which is phenomenal. That’s another thing I appreciate about Steve Wilson: that he’ll go through the effort to put together a booklet that probably a good amount of people won’t even look at. If you’ve ever watched “Insurgents” (or even if you haven’t), you’ll know about Steven Wilson’s loathing for iPod’s and mp3 players. In fact, he destroys several iPod’s in the film. The reason: it creates a portal for instant downloads instead of buying the album and getting it for better quality. Now, while I like his thoughts on the topic, I love my Zune. It’s way convenient for me. But, it’s also very rare when I download an album online. Sure, I’ve done it before, but I do like actually owning the album because it’s a safety measure. If my Zune and computer decided to blow up on the same day, well I’d still have all my albums cause I bought them. Then, you also have people like Steven Wilson who put together amazing photographs in a hard cased booklet that just astound you and speak to you along with the music.

So, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Steven Wilson is a genius.

Overall grade: A+

Favorite song: Raider II (although Index is a close second): I first fell in love with Raider II because of it’s lyrics. The first verse drew me in instantly where the other songs, although they did draw me in, took a few more listens. I didn’t even realize the song was 20 minutes long until about the third listen when I was like, “Hey I thought this song ended already?” Surprise! I still had a whole 10 minutes left. Raider II has a mixture of everything: amazing lyrics, catchy music, slow music, and crazy music. A little bit of everything that any Steven Wilson fan can appreciate.

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