Most helpful critical review
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
There Is Better, There Is Worse
on December 7, 2014
Oddly, this album is the exact opposite experience that I tend to have with music. I really enjoyed the first listen and became less than thrilled upon further listens. The songs, as you can always expect from a Steven Wilson album, are produced incredibly well. Wilson is one of the best producers in the field today and there is good reason so many bands would fight to get him to mix their albums. The main issue people have with Wilson's music is that he tends to be very self indulgent, which is what you tend to expect from any artist, but at times he does so at the expense of thinking about what his fans might prefer. At the end of the day, I am a fan of Steven Wilson's many projects and enjoy many of the albums that others have shunned.
That said....this album is not a proper album. It is a collection of cover songs, and originals that seem to be inspired by the songs he covered, all compiled together into one set. When you think of it as a collection of odds and ends, especially for the low price, then there is nothing to complain about. The music is very acoustic guitar heavy along with a lot of synth and computer generated effects layered over top. It is easily worth the price of admission...it just isn't worth any more than that.
Sometimes you buy a cheap album and find it to be a gem among stones. This album is an admittedly shiny stone but is still just a stone. A few of the covers are excellent, most of the original songs less so, and overall the dark, listless, ambling pacing gets a bit boring. Which is unfortunate, because any of these songs taken on their own isn't bad, maybe not spectacular but certainly not bad. But all gathered together, you can't help but notice how strikingly similar everything is, and soon your passion for any particular song is drained away. Good for what it is but easily skipped if you're not a fan of Wilson specifically.