"The Raven That Refused To Sing" (And Other Stories)  

By Dark Starr

I’ve seen some reviews that simply gush all over this thing. Well, I’ll say that it’s a very strong album. It’s certainly worth owning and worth listening to. There are definitely some magical moments here. I’m just not sure that it has the kind of energy or cohesiveness needed to really hook the listener and live on as the kind of masterpiece some are making it out to be. The opening track "Luminol" is definitely a standout and shows the musical expertise of Wilson and his band to a T. The cut sounds like the perfect cross between mid-period Rush and Yes, with Wilson's trademark gloominess mixed in. Lots of extended workouts here, with even some fusion thrown in on "The Holy Drinker". As a whole, the album tends to be mellower and more relaxed than Wilson's main band Porcupine Tree. The title track, which brings the disc to a close, is the most overly like Porcupine Tree and kind of brings things back to Earth with dramatic melancholy after some energetic prog workous on the rest of the disc.

Yes, it’s a great album. Yes, it’s better than a lot of the stuff out there. I just don’t know if it lives up the kind of massive praise some people are stacking onto it. By all means, go out and get it. You’ll dig it. Just don’t expect your world to change by listening.