July 1, 2017

Steven Wilson Takes A Detour …

Steven WilsonSteven Wilson

… or does he?

This little ditty from his next album was released this week …

… and the usual armchair critics are already weighing in - as I type, just shy of 70,000 views and already there are nearly 500 thumb downs … to give you a comparison - two other tracks off his next album.

  • Pariah - over 600,000 views with 208 thumb downs
  • Song of One - just shy of 300,000 views with 421 thumbs down

I think it is clear that the thumbs down are way out of proportion … but I have a theory.Wilson is not mainstream - as massively successful and prolific as he is … so if you have dropped by, listened and voted with your thumb - then you know his typical work. This track is not typical. Personally I like it … but bands like Ah Ha, ELO and ABBA always have a space in my heart. As for Wilson - it is definitely a little happy for him … and I love some of the comments on his you tube channel …

“Yup - he definitely had sex”


“Finally - a Steven Wilson song I can dance to”

I know what they mean. He is known for dark melancholy. He loves the minor chord. In other incarnations of his output, I see that

  • Porcupine Tree finds Wilson channelling English Progressive and Hard Rock
  • Blackfield is channelling Power Pop
  • IEM is channelling the Krautrock and Electronica genres
  • Bass Communion channels Ambient, Drone and Sampling

and so on It is clear that all this music has always been inside him - but fans generally like what they know. When he first came out with Blackfield 1, the Porcupine Tree fans were up in arms. When The Tree changed direction –similar noise. The ‘Jazz direction’ in his solo work is similarly more disliked by his earlier fans (what I call the ‘Tree Army’) .. and so on. There will always be detractors … but this track will bring more listeners to him than he loses - because he really won’t lose people. It is also important to note that he regularly talks of  ‘an artist’s duty’ … to paraphrase … is to keep going forward and doing what they love and not keep churning out different versions of the same album that originally made them famous. I agree. One more thing … this was Wilson in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, talking about his next album …

I’ll tell you one more thing. Because it’s going to time with my 50th birthday, I think I like the idea of it being something that would represent as many of my different musical personalities as possible. If you look back over my career and see all the different styles I’ve explored—whether it’s the more metal side, the more ambient side, the more ‘song’ side, or the more jazzy side—whatever it is, I like the idea that this next record will somehow bring all of those things together.

Bottom line - I like it, yes it is different, but this will be one that sticks I think … it certainly has a few hooks in there. How about you? < p class=“postguide”>Added : July 3rd Looks like Wilson is on the same wavelength.

Added : July 22nd

And the official video has been released.

I am not entirely sold on the Bollywood dancing - but he has been talking about using them somewhere … I guess this is it. Maybe it needs to grow on me. That said if you want an ending - skip through to 3:40 … didn’t see that coming.

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