- Audio CD (March 3, 2015)
- Limited Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: KSCOPE
- ASIN: B00QW4QX7C
- Average Customer Review: 340 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,222 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Hand. Cannot. Erase. (Limited Edition CD+DVDV Media Book Edition)
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The fourth solo album from prolific songwriter, four-time Grammy-nominated artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Steven Wilson. Hand. Cannot Erase. is a dynamic 11-song conceptual set, bringing together diverse aspects of his expansive sonic history. Recorded in September 2014 at AIR Studios London, Hand. Cannot. Erase. features the guitar-driven power, infectious melodies, and progressive sensibility of Wilson s sprawling body of work.
Wilson describes the collection as inspired by a news story, of a woman who died in her apartment and went undiscovered for three years. The basic concept of the record it's about a woman growing up, who goes to live in the city, very isolated, and she disappears one day and no one notices. Now, your initial reaction when you hear a story like that is, 'Ah, little old bag lady that no one notices; no one cares about.' But she was young; she was popular; she was attractive; she had many friends; she had family, but for whatever reason, nobody missed her for three years.; The dramatic theme of Hand. Cannot. Erase. is punctuated with moments of rhythmic urgency, somber introspection, and soaring beauty.
CD + DVDV in Media Book packaging. The album features artwork by long time Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson artist and designer, Carl Glover (in conjunction with images from Hajo Mueller and Lasse Hoile). The album features artwork by long time Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson artist and designer, Carl Glover (in conjunction with images from Hajo Mueller and Lasse Hoile)
Top customer reviews
This Wilson CD is one of very few since my early years to succeed fully in the same way and on virtually every level for me. I realize how much I’d missed sitting down for a spell with such engaging music that shines from that captivating higher place. Every element here seems just right, flowing seamlessly, and the world suddenly seems better. Hard to describe such music without sounding a bit unhinged with excitement, but that's the feeling I get from this effort.
Trying to explain exactly why HCE stuns me would be an overwhelming task, better left to many of the fine reviews here. Suffice to say that the masterful balance of composition, musicianship, and production strikes me most of all, with a special nod to the brilliant guitars and drums throughout. (I'm a guitarist and semi-drummer after all, and these guys are insanely good.) The insightful and oddly uplifting lyrics (uniquely Steven Wilson), the extended instrumental excursions (think early King Crimson), the lush harmonies (think early Yes), and the constant attention to the swing of emotional highs and lows (think early Genesis or Tull or Pink Floyd) are all coming from that great place above. Every note and beat matter here. Even a quiet backing guitar is a thing of beauty.
For years now, Wilson has certainly proven himself to be a master composer, arranger, lyricist, performer, producer, engineer, and virtually every other role that applies. While I’ve definitely enjoyed his previous efforts, with and without PT, this one’s special. HCE is likely a recording he’ll long be remembered for, a milestone in his career, the moment his many roles and skills merged into something larger and magical. At least that’s my take after two months of totally addictive listening, and I can’t help but wonder if this album’s tragic, moving tale of love and isolation worked its magic on Steven himself while he created this seductive musical landscape.
I nominate Steven Wilson as ‘Renaissance Man of the Year’ for his exceptional ability to channel the heart of the '70s prog masters with his own contemporary vision and skill. While its classic prog roots clearly run deep, HCE is in the end a unique masterpiece firmly planted in the present tense. A remarkable gift for lovers of this genre.
If you are looking for a continuation of Raven, then you are at risk for disappointment. Steve Wilson's music however thematically based is still complex and very precise. This was all the more evident after attending a concert in support of this album. His band was exacting and precise and of course, seeing it live answers all those questions of how they do things and make such excellent music...but I digress.
If you're aware of Steve's music and have read some of the background on the sad inspiration for this album, (I'll spare you the details) but expect to become part of someone's life, to feel their pain, feel their loneliness and experience the musical pathos from the genius that is Steve Wilson. The story will haunt and stay with you for more than a little while.
Musically, while this album has what I call his "Rush-like" moments, there is less of the hard rock influence in favor of thematics which are geared more to telling the story, and that's just fine. Don't pass up an opportunity to enjoy this latest offering.
My personal favorite SW vehicle will always be Porcupine Tree, but it's impossible to deny the considerable chemistry he's put together with this phenomenal band of studio aces, amazing musicians who all come together brilliantly to support Steven's unique vision and blend of classic and modern prog influences and tones. This is Steven's best solo work yet, IMO, which is saying something considering the excellence of The Raven That Refused To Sing, but it is without a doubt some of his most mature, fully-realized songwriting to date, and a dynamic and rewarding sonic experience from beginning to end.
Simply a glorious record, and the 5.1 blu-ray audio is the only way to hear it given true justice.