Progressive rock legend Steven Wilson has now done a ‘Coldplay’. His latest video ‘Permanating‘ from the recently released album ‘To The Bone’ sounds, views, grooves a lot like Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend. With a troupe of Bollywood dancers (brilliantly choreographed and captured) cavorting to a song, which basically has just six lines repeated over and over close to four minutes! As a pop song, it’s good stuff, but elitist prog rock fans and connoisseurs are mightily disappointed. Personally, I was hoping to catch Steven Wilson live during his Manchester shows in March 2018, but I will skip that for now, knowing majority of the song list is going to come from his latest ‘pop’ album.
Wilson is the founder, lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the epic band Porcupine Tree. Even his other collaboration works – Blackfield V – released earlier this year has got thumbs up from progressive rock world, but To The Bone is getting rave reviews primarily from the Pop music world. This album could effectively signal Wilson’s shift towards the softer and more melancholic version of music. Which can be interpreted, as a shift towards commercially more appealing music. To The Bone sales are also encouraging for the artist to continue thinking likewise.
Wilson has always believed in music being an open entity and listeners should never have closed minds. He has revealed often that To The Bone was inspired by 80s pop records and told Prog: “As I’ve gotten older, my listening diet has changed and I’ve gotten immersed in certain artists again after seeing them on things like old Top Of The Pops shows.”
“In the last couple of years I’ve found myself listening to the progressive pop albums of the 80s: Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love, Peter Gabriel’s So, Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair and The Seeds Of Love, and Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden. People think the 80s were a shallow, superficial era, but those records were really smart.”.
Do you like Permanating? I don’t. Neither, the other songs I heard, so far from his latest album. So am going to listen to Happy Returns from his 2014 album Hand. Cannot. Erase. For now, To the Bone cannot erase! And I sincerely hope Wilson’s shift is temporary and not permanating!