In a further attempt to grow my love for Porcupine Tree and all things Steven Wilson, I purchased this release just for the surround sound mix. What a plonker, Rodney!
Tag Archive: gavin harrison
You can buy your own copy of this from here:http://bit.ly/theincidentboxset
And so my man love obsession with all things Steven Wilson intensifies as I purchase the limited edition boxset of “The Incident” by Porcupine Tree.
You can get the 2CD version of the album here: http://bit.ly/octanetwisted2cd
The version with the DVD is available from Burning Shed.
Yes, time flies and here comes another Steven Wilson product to review. This time it is a live album from Porcupine Tree detailing “The Incident” tour. Is it an accident-free journey or a smoking pile of wreckage? The only way to find out is to watch the review!
So here I am reviewing the new Storm Corrosion Collector’s Edition by Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt. This has the CD and Blu-ray version of the album to listen to.
For those of you who are paying attention, you might have gathered that I am not the greatest fan of Porcupine Tree. God help me, I’ve tried to like the records, but I’ve always been left with an unpleasant taste in my mouth – a bit like sucking a mint you’ve found down the back of the sofa.
However, I did enjoy “The Incident” so I have reviewed it here for you.
“Stinkhorn” by Darren Lock
“The Mist Suite” by Darren Lock
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Well my review of Fly From Here on YouTube proved so popular – gaining more visits in a day than this site is getting in a week thanks to Google stuffing me in the page ranking – that I’ve recorded some more of my reviews for the YouTube service.
A Scarcity of Miracles by Jakszyk, Collins and Fripp
In the Land of Grey and Pink [40th Anniversary Edition] by Caravan
I came to this record with trepidation, because I unfortunately knew how it was going to pan out and how this review was going to be. I wanted it to be different, but the strengths and weaknesses of this recording were already highlighted in the promo video released before this collection debuted. Also, Robert Fripp in his diary had indicated that it was a certain type of record that would only appeal to a certain kind of person.
But firstly, let’s get the thorny issue of whether or not this is King Crimson. Like the Sylvian/Fripp album was a King Crimson album in all but name, this could be viewed as part of the KC catalogue if Fripp hadn’t gone off into experimental territory between 1972-2003 and stayed with the same set of musicians from the 1971 band. Obviously, the sax roots the album to that band and Gavin Harrison’s tasteful drumming is reminiscent of the late Ian Wallace in places, and in parts Jakszyk sounds as if he is channeling the plaintive vocals of Boz Burrell, but don’t think that this record is anything as exciting as “Islands”.
The format and packaging is identical in style to the recent 40th Anniversary remaster series put out for King Crimson, with the album coming a slipcase, containing a two-panel double CD tray and a separate booklet.
Lesser men will carp that this is the greatest album Fripp has been involved in for thirty years, but I am here to deliver my spin on things and not some puffed-up, self-promoting PR speak. First off, the most exciting track of the record you’ve already heard – the title track is the money shot, it is the song that best represents the collection and it is no wonder they made a video to accompany that track because it is the best song to promote the record.
The title track is sublime, it is a good collection of elements we’ve come to expect, shimmery soundscapes, flowing sax lines and an easy-listening vocal. And herein lies the problem for me. You really have to be a fan of Jakszyk’s voice and his lyrics to move forward with this record and I’ve never really liked any of his work. He’s a great guitarist and musician, but his voice and words just make me want to stick knitting needles in my ear canals. His style is a throwback to all those awful songs from the 1980s that I cannot abide. Replace him with David Sylvian or even John Wetton and the record would have improved 100-fold for me. But that’s just me – you might like his sixth-form lyrics and his dictionary of rhymes approach to wordsmithery. He is the weakest link of the album for me and I would have preferred a completely instrumental mix of the album – for there lies true reward.
And while it is nice to hear Fripp do his thing – there are plenty of soundscapes and leadlines for you to get your teeth into – don’t expect him to take off in full flight. This is Fripp taking a Sunday afternoon constitutional around his village with his Missus on his arm. He is gentling, he is taking the weight off his feet, he is in third gear. And it is nice to hear Fripp in this mode, because he has become linked to burning guitar solos, but there are none of those here. Just gentle washes of sound and delicate phrasing.
The real revelation is of course hearing Mel Collins performing against a wash of soundscapes. Like Theo Travis before him, the sound of saxophone against Fripp’s soundscaping is a rare thing of beauty and I like this a lot. I want more. This is good – in an easy-listening kind-of-way.
And that’s the nub of the problem, it is an easy-listening album for the prog generation. I see an old folk’s home populated by grey-haired and whiskered old geezers wearing tattered Genesis, Yes and Rush T-shirts being played this to calm them down after getting excitable after viewing Rick Wakeman doing his grumpy old man shtick on BBC’s Watchdog show.
It is an album that runs in one gear. There are no peaks and troughs – it is a steady journey through increasingly familiar territory. After the title track, it all turns into a sepia, watercoloured wash of more-of-the-same. Put this on if you don’t want to scare the Vicar, or if you are hosting a dinner party and you don’t want the music to overshadow your conversation, or even if you are having trouble sleeping. It’s one of THOSE records.
At the halfway mark, it was getting increasingly difficult for me to continue and by the final lap, the suicide-inducing “The Light of the Day” I had decided it would be hard for me to sit through a second listen. But I did, and I did it for you, dear reader – for I had my first listen in 5.1 surround sound and my second listen in stereo on the headphones to get the full vibe of the record.
The surround sound mix is sumptuous and you are surrounded by Fripp’s soundscapes and Collin’s sax. As usual, this is the premiere way to hear the album and makes it even more of a coffee bar background-music affair. There’s the video to behold in 5.1 and an album’s worth of alternate mixes and two improvisational tracks that formed the basis of “This House” and “Secrets”. It’s a pretty complete package you’d expect from DGM and there’s also a high-resolution stereo mix to check out too. The stereo mix is well mixed – with all the elements well represented. In fact, the production is very clean and very good indeed. There’s a lot of space for the instrumentation to breathe and it’s not has dense or claustrophobic as other KC recordings (obviously). My condemnation of Jakszyk only extends to his vocals and lyrics, for his production skills are well met here and bode well for his future 5.1 surround mixes of the KC back catalogue he’s been put in charge of.
As a package, you certainly get your money’s worth but the strength of this collection lies on whether or not you like your prog served over-easy. I myself prefer to sail in more choppy waters.
And here’s a little video review I made to express my thoughts on this record:
I notice that some of you have come here looking for this album to download for free. Don’t be daft. I am not going to host any files on this site from any other artist than myself. If you do want something free that sounds a little bit like King Crimson (in places), then click the link that follows to access a free voucher that will allow you to download my latest “The Luckiest Man in the World” album for free. Hallelujah!