Steven Wilson is not the type of artist you would ever expect would release a greatest hits cd. His music, of course, is one of a complete artistic concept and removing songs from an album would also remove all context for the music. However, being the outside the box thinker that he is, he has found an interesting way to release a “hits” package. While it is not being labeled as one, the special compilation, ‘Transience’, personally curated by Steven, comes out Sept 25th on vinyl only. It is to coincide with the second leg of the ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase.’ tour and serve as an introduction to his prolific solo output.
The collection contains 13 tracks and totals over 1 hour of music and is pressed as a 3 sided LP. It contains some of the more commercially accessible tracks from his 4 solo albums. It kicks off with an extended version of the title track “Transience” from the recent ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase’. “Harmony Korine” from ‘Insurgentes’ then kicks the album into gear. As one would expect, some of the shorter tracks are featured here, such as the sublime “Postcard” and the proggy “The Pin Drop”. There are also edits of some longer tracks such as “Deform to Form a Star, which features Jordan Rudess. Also included are “Hand,. Cannot. Erase” and “Happy Returns” from from the ‘Hand. Cannot.Erase.’ album from earlier this year.
Some interesting choices included are the cover of Alanis Morrissette’s hit “Thank You” from Wilson’s covers albums and the new recording of the Porcupine Tree classic “Lazarus,” which Steven has been performing on tour recently with his stellar live band.
While some might point to the more signature epic tracks like “Raven…”, “The Watchmaker” and “Raider II” missing, it does not diminish what is a very well put together set that certainly works as an introduction to any who have been living under a rock over the last decade. It also is a brilliant collector’s item for the avid fan.
1. Transience – single version (3.10)
2. Harmony Korine (5.07)
3. Postcard (4.27)
4. Significant Other (4.31)
5. Insurgentes (3.54)
1. The Pin Drop (5.01)
2. Happy Returns – edit (5.11)
3. Deform to Form a Star – edit (5.53)
4. Thank You (4.39)
1. Index (4.47)
2. Hand Cannot Erase (4.13)
3. Lazarus – 2015 recording (3.57)
4. Drive Home (7.33)