Steve Wilson, guitarist and front man of the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree has released his third solo album titled “The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories.)” The Raven… is an album that brings together funk, rock, and chunks of jazz to illustrate a story of ghosts, sorrow, regret and death through song. The first track Luminol begins with a funk bass line, reminiscent of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The song’s lyrics which were inspired by a man who is a busker that performs his music on a street corner, no matter the weather, moves from funk to rock effortlessly, taking the audience through a maze of different sounds.
The next track titled Drive Home, focuses on a man who cannot deal with the reality of his wife’s death, so he is under the illusion that his spouse is still alive and sitting next to him while he is driving home. The song begins with a somber guitar part, with drums and strings bringing in a wave of emotion that compliments the dark aura of the song.
The sixth and final track on the record is The Raven That Refused To Sing. Telling a story about a man who has reached old age, he comes across a raven as he is waiting to pass on. He believes this raven to be a symbol of his sister’s presence, as she used to sing to him during their childhood when he was fearful, which had a calming effect on him. The piano, which is a the main focus on the song is fitting in illustrating the loss the man has felt, as well as coming to terms with his old age.
Steven Wilson does a brilliant job of weaving each song together so that the audience can become engrossed in the story, as the music allows you to feel each emotion that the song represents. While the lyrics aid in telling the story, it is the music that does the telling. Even for those who are not familiar with Porcupine Tree’s music, Wilson’s latest creation is highly enjoyable, as it truly brings out a mad scientist in music with the endless flow of creativity that The Raven That Refuses To Sing (And Other Stories) gives us.