Steven Wilson's back with 4 1/2

The "king of prog" drops a B-sides record that bests most proper releases

With Steven Wilson’s bipolar musical personality, you can never become too relaxed.
  • With Steven Wilson’s bipolar musical personality, you can never become too relaxed.

With over 30 years of relativity, Steven Wilson has become a household name in Progressive Rock world. Quality over quantity is irrelevant when it comes to this UK native because he offers both. Most known for his work in Porcupine Tree, “the king of prog rock” has distributed/displayed elegant guitar pieces of solitude and frustration on his solo records.


...off of Steven Wilson's <em>4 1/2</em>

...off of Steven Wilson's 4 1/2

On Wilson's latest release, 4 ½ you get the B-sides between his two previous albums (Hand. Cannot. Erase. and The Raven That Refused to Sing — and Other Stories). What is satisfying is that it doesn’t feel like reject songs. Heavenly guitar chords are heavily present, delicate yet majestic.

“My Book of Regrets” begins the album just right. Its twists and turns between clean and distorted guitars feeds the ears with multiple colors and tones. “Year of the Plague” is gentle and calm, as it just glides along warm, then chills with guitar stings and keys. With Wilson’s bipolar musical personality you can never become too relaxed. “Sunday Rain Sets In” feels like a cloud, then abrupt guitar and drums thunder in, waking you up from the momentary bliss. This is the most intriguing attribute of Steven Wilson, his ability to change courses and keep your ears engaged. “Don’t Hate Me” has the whole nine yards — saxophone and a colorful and jazzy keyboard interact with the drumming and feminine vocals from Israeli artist Ninet Tayeb. With its many tempo and mood changes, the nine minutes feels like multiple songs until the chorus jumps back in and you remember where you are.

  • Album: 4 ½
  • Artist: Steven Wilson
  • Label: Kscope
  • Songs: (1) "My Book of Regrets" (2) "Year of the Plague" (3) "Happiness III" (4) "Sunday Rain Sets In" (5) "Vermillioncore" (6) "Don't Hate Me"

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Now if only he would have taken the second leg of the tour in support of 4 1/2 to SoCal. :(

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