Author Topic: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes  (Read 4057 times)

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Offline orcus116

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[Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« on: June 17, 2009, 11:36:47 PM »
NOTE: A bit rusty on reviewing and this one has been sitting on the shelf for awhile.


ARTIST: Steven Wilson
ALBUM: Insurgentes
GENRE: Progessive/Experimental
YEAR: 2009


When the frontman of a popular band delves into solo work the general consensus is a bit mixed. Strangely enough when someone like Steven Wilson announced a solo project it was somewhat baffling. As the main songwriter for Porcupine Tree, his most popular and longest running of his musical endeavors, co-writer for Blackfield and head collaborator on a number of other small projects, one must wonder why it is necessary to open a new chapter and go solo, for lack of better wording. Insurgentes is somewhat of a strange beast in that for something that seems so unnecessary it serves as a vehicle through the many facets of what exactly makes many consider Wilson a musical genius.

While the opening notes breathe typical Wilson, Insurgentes slowly begins to morph into an intriguing album consisting of moments too crass for a Porcupine Tree, much akin to hanging out with your cool, crazy buddy who likes blowing things up but not wanting him anywhere near your children. One of the catalysts of this is the sporadic use of drone guitars placed precariously throughout the album readily to assault the listener. The funny part about them is they work, and they work damn well. The way theyíre introduced seems like Wilson is prepping the audience for later, as they are sudden, yet short lived in Abandoner and by the end of the album the idea of this foreign Ďnoiseí isnít so bothersome in the truly great usage of them. For instance Get All That You Deserve, while successfully building up due to masterful layering of simple piano and guitar lines, becomes so chaotic at the end as these guitars swallow everything with no remorse that by the time the listener arrives at Insurgentes itís almost like a Ďlight at the end of the tunnelí calm sets in. It is reminiscent of how The Downward Spiral flows into Hurt which definitely works to its advantage.

Working within the chaos, sans drone, No Twilight Within The Courts Of The Sun stands out as one of the stranger tracks on the album. Itís not that itís bad but the King Crimsonesque noodling that goes on for the first four minutes gets a bit excessive. In fact there is very little in the song that warrants its eight and a half minute runtime, cutting off some flow dead smack in the middle of the album. Maybe it isnít fair to criticize it for that specifically considering the arrangement of songs on the album but, coming off a serene six minute The Sky Moves Sideways Part 1 redux in Venero Para Las Hadas, the listener can get caught off guard. Probably the only redeeming positive factor for Twilight is some of the subtle piano work by Jordan Rudess, who also rounds out the aforementioned Venero Para Las Hadas quite well.

Passed the chaotic middle of the album, the rest is very hit or miss. Not that anything is completely off turning but the amount of standard fare is abundant. Significant Other hits some highs (literally) with Clodagh Simonds adding some operatic touches but little else aside from the simple, driving bass of Only Child really stands out. Rudess once again flashes some subtle pleasant lines in Twilight Coda, but as the title suggests its only really excess from earlier. Luckily this section of the album only lasts for around twelve minutes and if anything serves as a buildup to the final ten, which make the album all worth it.

If there is one thing that Steven Wilson consistently does, something that he needs to be commended for, is that for some strange reason he has a knack for creating the most gorgeous closing tracks for his albums. The title track is no exception. After a quick recovery from the audile assault of Get All That You Deserve, the forlorn piano lines create an absolutely docile atmosphere. Normally Wilsonís voice acts as an indifferent mechanism in a lot of his songs but for some reason on Insurgentes it comes to life, albeit an atypically depressed life, and delivers easily the most poetic lyrics on the album. The real gem, the whole moment the album is building to, is the point where the koto comes in about halfway through. Everyone has heard the instrument before but it doesnít seem to be used often enough. If anyone wants to make an argument against it, Insurgentes would be the counter.

As an album covering the wide spectrum of all that listeners have come to expect of Wilson, it gives us the rare opportunity to experience a compilation that isnít in itself any old material, relatively speaking. And while not completely palatable considering its minor flaws, it passes as an intriguing view of what is, was, and what could be concerning the mind that drives nearly all of the musical projects it is engaged with. Perhaps thatís the beauty of it.


B+

Offline Pyroph

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 10:57:07 AM »
Good review.  ;)

I really dig this album, and it's great to here everyone's take on it.




Offline Volk9

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 12:06:56 PM »
Well I passed this album up in the store because I didnt really know anything about it, but I'll probably pick it up now.

Btw, JR is in here?!
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Offline orcus116

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 12:10:56 PM »
Yes! He does some really great piano work.

Offline Volk9

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 12:19:59 PM »
Yes! He does some really great piano work.

Sweet :D I'll definately have to pick this up next time I see it then
DOWNLOAD MY FREE NEW ALBUM!

(For fans of breakbeat, trip hop, acid jazz, etc)

http://abstractinthesky.com/

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Offline Sigz

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 12:47:19 PM »
Yes! He does some really great piano work.

JR's piano on Veneno Para Las Hadas is so minimalistic, yet so incredibly beautiful; blows my mind every time.
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Offline staveoffzombies

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 02:41:55 AM »
I gotta say...it took me several listens to really "get" this album...but once I did I was completely swept off my feet.  I expect the next Porcupine Tree release to do the same.  :smiley:

Offline nakedman

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2009, 01:35:30 AM »
WOW orcus! amazing review! you have the same opinions as me about this album! It is great, but not a masterpiece!
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Offline SoundscapeMN

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2010, 06:13:20 PM »
clip from the film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOmn3AV5Zbw

dvd could be released by the end of 2010.

Offline Perpetual Change

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2010, 07:25:12 PM »
clip from the film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOmn3AV5Zbw

dvd could be released by the end of 2010.

SW pretentiousness usually bothers me but that was a really cool little clip.  Maybe I've been too hard on him!

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2010, 07:30:59 PM »
I just got into this album this past week. It completely blew me away.
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Offline guitarrero

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2014, 08:04:47 AM »
I've been on a heavy trip of older Porcupine Tree and SWs solo records recently and i really love his work a lot. This very album really opened a fresh side of Steven Wilson as a genius to me and i remember exactly listening to it for the first time back then. Outstanding and magical here and there...
Very good review of a very good record, well done!

Offline DarkLord_Lalinc

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Re: [Music] Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2014, 09:44:31 AM »
This is still an immensely amazing album.

I still remember the first time I listened to Abandoner and I got to that sudden distorted-guitar-type sound that comes out from nowhere and shifts the entire song. Chills. Chills. Chills.
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