When someone says “What do you think about Steven Wilson’s solo albums?”, you will probably hear conversations about the albums Hand.Cannot.Erase, Grace For Drowning, or The Raven That Refused To Sing… But, there’s also another solo album from sir Wilson, named Insurgentes. His first “sort of” solo album, that was released a year before Porcupine Tree’s last album The Incident, which is the year 2008.
I say “sort of”, because Porcupine Tree started as a solo project by Steven, and he also has other solo projects like Bass Communion and IEM. I never knew that Porcupine Tree would suddenly stop. I thought Insurgentes would be just a “one thing” only… But it actually became something else. Steven Wilson is now focussing on his solo career for several years, and also told in some interviews that Porcupine Tree probably wouldn’t come back together.
Let’s go back to Insurgentes. What can I say about the album. It’s really an “in between” album, and something that maybe could go through as a decent Porcupine Tree album even. I do believe Steven Wilson was already searching for a certain sound, but if you would compare Insurgentes with both Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson’s solo work you find out that can’t be placed in both the PT and the Wilson solo music. This is really a beautiful gem on its own. It does have the dark and dreary atmosphere that almost all Steven Wilson/PT albums carry along, but it’s also a light mixture of different music styles, contains a lot of dynamics and lovely instrumental passages.
Steven plays most of the instruments himself, and there are several guest musicians contributing on the album, such as Theo Travis (who later became part of the band for some years. I interviewed Theo last year, you can listen to the interview here), Jordan Rudess, and the lovely Sand Snowman (which I interviewed as well, check out the interview here and here). Gavin Harrison drums on most of the tracks of this album, so it does contain some sort of Porcupine Tree connection.
First track Harmony Korine is a strong track to begin the album with. The remix of that track is also very good, which can be found on NSRGNTS RMXS (Insurgentes Remixes), and I even prefer it over the original. I also recommend people to listen to the remix album, containing very interesting (re)mixes of some tracks. There’s also a special 2 CD version of Insurgentes, and the second CD contains tracks that didn’t make it on the album, plus a special live version of the title track Insurgentes. Too bad the instrumental track Collecting Space never made it to the original album, it’s a splendid track that really fits the rest of the music of Insurgentes.
What do you think about this album from Steven Wilson? Please let your comment behind in the comment section below!
A big hug, as always!
Iris, aka Ier!
PS: Don’t forget to watch the documentary named Insurgentes as well! A real recommendation!
Please feel free to read all my other Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree related reviews and blogs:
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