Steven Wilson ‎– Grace For Drowning

Label:
Kscope ‎– KSCOPE510
Format:
3 × CD, Album
Blu-ray, Album, Stereo, Multichannel
Box Set, Limited Edition
Country:
Released:
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Tracklist Hide Credits

Vol 1 - Deform To Form A Star
CD1-1 Grace For Drowning
Piano – Jordan RudessVocals [40 Tracks], Keyboards – SW*
2:00
CD1-2 Sectarian
Chapman Stick – Nick BeggsClarinet – Ben CastleDrums – Nic FranceGuitar [Guitars], Keyboards, Autoharp, Bass Guitar – SW*Soprano Saxophone – Theo Travis
7:45
CD1-3 Deform To Form A Star
Bass Guitar – Tony LevinClarinet [Clarinets] – Theo TravisDrums – Nic FrancePiano – Jordan RudessVocals, Guitar [Guitars], Keyboards – SW*
8:00
CD1-4 No Part Of Me
Arranged By [Strings], Orchestrated By [Strings] – Dave StewartBass Guitar [Solo] – Nick BeggsBass Guitar, Guitar [Warr] – Trey GunnDrums [Acoustic & Electronic] – Pat MastelottoGuitar [U8 Touch] – Markus ReuterProducer [Additional] – Pat MastelottoSaxophone [Solo] – Theo TravisStrings – London Session Orchestra*Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion, Handclaps – SW*
5:45
CD1-5 Postcard
Arranged By [Strings + Choir], Orchestrated By [Strings + Choir] – Dave StewartChoir – Synergy Vocals*Drums – Nic FranceStrings – London Session Orchestra*Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Guitar, Bass – SW*
4:30
CD1-6 Raider Prelude
Arranged By [Choir] – Dave StewartChoir – Synergy Vocals*Piano, Gong – SW*
2:30
CD1-7 Remainder The Black Dog
Chapman Stick, Bass Guitar – Nick BeggsDrums – Nic FranceFlute, Clarinet, Saxophone – Theo TravisGuitar [Guitars] – Steve HackettVocals, Piano, Keyboards, Glockenspiel – SW*
9:30
Vol 2 - Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye
CD2-1 Belle De Jour
Arranged By [Strings], Orchestrated By [Strings] – Dave StewartGuitar [Nylon String], Keyboards, Autoharp, Bass – SW*Strings – London Session Orchestra*
3:00
CD2-2 Index
Drums [Acoustic & Electric] – Pat MastelottoOrchestrated By [Strings] – Dave StewartStrings – London Session Orchestra*Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Autoharp, Programmed By, Arranged By [Strings] – SW*
4:45
CD2-3 Track One
Drums – Nic FranceVocals, Guitar [Guitars], Keyboards – SW*
4:15
CD2-4 Raider II
Acoustic Guitar – Sand SnowmanArranged By [Choir] – Dave StewartChapman Stick, Bass [1st Half] – Nick BeggsChoir – Synergy Vocals*Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone – Theo TravisDrums – Nic FranceGuitar – Mike OutramPiano [Solo] – Jordan RudessSound Designer [Coda] – Dave KerznerVocals, Guitar [Guitars], Piano, Keyboards, Harmonium, Percussion, Bass [2nd Half] – SW*
23:15
CD2-5 Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye
Bass Guitar – Tony LevinDrums – Nic FranceVocals, Guitar [Guitars], Piano, Keyboards, Harmonium, Autoharp – SW*
8:00
Vol 3 - The Map (Demos + Out-Takes)
CD3-1 Home In Negative 3:00
CD3-2 Fluid Tap
Chapman Stick [Death Stick] – Tony LevinDrums – Pat Mastelotto
5:45
CD3-3 The Map 3:30
CD3-4 Raider Acceleration
Bass, Electric Piano – SW*Drums – Nic FranceGuitar – Mike OutramSaxophone – Theo Travis
6:15
CD3-5 Black Dog Throwbacks 2:30
CD3-6 Raider II (Demo Version) 21:15
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BR-01 Grace For Drowning 2:00
BR-02 Sectarian 7:45
BR-03 Deform To Form A Star 8:00
BR-04 No Part Of Me 5:45
BR-05 Postcard 4:30
BR-06 Raider Prelude 2:30
BR-07 Remainder The Black Dog 9:30
BR-08 Belle De Jour 3:00
BR-09 Index 4:45
BR-10 Track One 4:15
BR-11 Raider II 23:15
BR-12 Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye 8:00
Stereo Bonus Tracks
BR-13 Home In Negative 3:00
BR-14 Fluid Tap 5:45

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Deluxe edition limited to 5000 copies. Includes the album on 2 CDs, a bonus CD of out-takes and demos, and a Blu-ray disc, all packaged in a 120-page hardback book of artwork and notes.

Written and recorded during the period of Jan 2010 - June 2011.
Produced and mixed at No-Man's Land, Hemel Hempstead, Koolworld, Luton, and Angel Studio, Islington.

Additional recording made by the musicians on location in the UK, USA and Germany.

The Blu-ray contains 5.1 surround sound and high resolution stereo mixes of the album. Disc menus feature music from "Cenotaph" by Bass Communion, recorded during the same sessions as Grace for Drowning.

The Blu-ray also contains videos for the tracks "Remainder the Black Dog", "Belle de Jour", "Index", "Track One", and "Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye", as well as demo audio mixes for the following tracks: "Sectarian", "Deform to Form a Star", "No Part of Me", "Remainder the Black Dog", "Raider II", and "Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye".

Management for Acme Music. Artwork and design for Aleph.
Exclusively administered by Universal Music Publishing Group.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 8 02644 95107 2
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc1): X81707 KSCOPE510/CD1
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc2): X81639 KSCOPE510/CD2
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc3): X81640 KSCOPE510/CD3
  • Matrix / Runout (Blu-ray): 0000745524 BDV L0 KSCOPE510 @@@ G1 0000745524 BDV L1 KSCOPE510 @@@ G1

Other Versions (5 of 14) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
KSCOPE176 Steven Wilson Grace For Drowning(2xCD, Album, Ltd, Dig) Kscope KSCOPE176 UK 2011 Sell This Version
KSCOPE176 Steven Wilson Grace For Drowning(2xCDr, Album, Promo) Kscope KSCOPE176 UK 2011 Sell This Version
IECP-10246 Steven Wilson Grace For Drowning(2xCD, Album, Promo) WHD Entertainment, Inc., Kscope IECP-10246 Japan 2012 Sell This Version
KSCOPE 177 Steven Wilson Grace For Drowning(2xCD, Album, Dig) Kscope KSCOPE 177 UK & Europe Unknown Sell This Version
KSCOPE511 Steven Wilson Grace For Drowning(Blu-ray, Album, Multichannel) Kscope KSCOPE511 UK 2011 Sell This Version

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Ergaster

Ergaster

October 29, 2011


I have been a follower of The Mighty Wilson Machine for only a couple of years, but one thing I have learned is that when a new project is announced, the fan-driven hype gears up into overdrive. Grace for Drowning was no different—maybe even more extreme, fed by the occasional release of teasers—a song here, a snippet there, videos. Steven drops hints in interviews: It’s BIG. It takes a different musical direction. No Porcupine Tree guys on it, but musicians that some of us had to go look up. He thinks it’s the best thing he’s done.

It is very easy (believe me on this) to get sucked in, but is it all too much? Is it even real? The guy’s seriously talented, probably an actual genius, but let’s face it: Welcome to My DNA was a bit of a damp squib. So when the Big Blue Deluxe package finally arrived, anticipation and trepidation faced off across the hardcover book…well anyway, does Grace for Drowning live up to its huge hype or has fanboyism (once again, the cynics might say) trumped common sense?

After listening for a few weeks I am happy to report that Grace for Drowning has not only cleared the hype hurdle but soared into the stratosphere. This is a fine, fine album: Steven Wilson has managed to distill almost two decades of experience into a release of remarkable assurance and sophistication, a musical statement of sweeping grandeur and vision—it really could be the best thing he has ever done.

GfD is big, a double album on two separate CDs of about 40 minutes each—Wilson’s sly tribute to the good old days when 40 minutes was about as much music as one vinyl record would hold. Each CD has a similar structure songwise, but they evoke somewhat different moods. Disc 1 (Deform to Form a Star) feels wistful, even nostalgic; Disc 2 (Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye) is dark and disquieting. The standard Wilson lyric themes are all on display: love leaving, love lost, ambiguity and, well…sociopathy….At any rate, the album for all its length and moods presents a beautifully coherent, unified experience that seems nowhere near 83 minutes long.

Wilson made it clear that 70s jazz-fusion prog rock and especially the Lizard-era King Crimson material form the majority of the influences that flavor the album, but in truth it covers a huge amount of musical territory. This is not by any means King Crimson Redux, or Porcupine Tree with saxophone—Wilson has an enormous talent for absorbing ideas and turning them into something fresh and authentic, and he has outdone himself this time. Point of fact, he has outdone himself in just about every aspect of songwriting, arranging, performance, and production.

There is so much musical goodness that singling out highlights is just an exercise in personal taste, but here goes. Disc 1 has the one-two punch of the mighty “Sectarian”, a jagged, brooding instrumental that almost physically assaults with monstrous bass and mellotron, followed by (in a brilliantly-conceived juxtaposition) the achingly beautiful “Deform to Form a Star”. Wilson’s gift for the gorgeous melody is almost cliché but with “Deform…” he demonstrates a heretofore unsuspected mastery of the form. I generally tend to favour Wilson’s harder material over the ballads, but this…! This is extraordinary songwriting.

From Disc 2 comes the unnerving “Index”: Wilson’s clear, delicate tenor delivers a detached discourse on obsession, over a tense, bass-laden track thick with foreboding. One can impose several layers of meaning on this song—what, exactly, does this person collect? Do we merely have the standard Wilson fascination with sociopaths or is there a statement in there about being on the receiving end of a fiercely dedicated fandom?

And then there is Raider II: a massive, 23-minute monster of a piece, the dark and brutal soul of the entire album, an epic showcase of sheer genius by all involved. It winds its way from a slow musical build and a rather horrific lyric, and builds into a huge jazzy improvisational centerpiece, before returning to an end…and an end…

There is very little to complain about on this album. “Postcard” feels a bit out of place and purposeless (it has been released as the “single”, which seems self-defeating for an album that is so not standard radio fare); and Raider II has more endings than are strictly necessary. But these are minor failings, easily forgiven.

Grace for Drowning is jammed with nuance, rich with sound and atmosphere, saturated with impeccable artistry from every single musician involved. I am astonished, with each listen, at the level of maturity and assurance that permeates every single note. There are huge, brutal moments, stretches that are almost physically terrifying, and moments of heartbreaking delicacy. It is compelling listening—it certainly takes time to get the hang of it, but don’t be surprised if you find it has taken up residence in your subconscious--this is not epiphany brilliance but stealth brilliance. Well done, Mr. Wilson, well done indeed!