Steven Wilson has certainly kept busy with his musical projects over the last few decades. A quick look through his discography will reveal his involvement as a main member in about 10 separate groups, production work with groups like Opeth and Anathema, and several remixes of classic albums from King Crimson, Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, and several other groups.
What may come as a surprise is the relatively small amount of solo material released under his own name. In general, six albums isn’t few, but considering Wilson has been involved (in some capacity) in over 150 other projects, it seems his own collection of LP’s occupies a fairly small corner of his discography. That being said, having just six albums to rank certainly doesn’t make it any easier a task. Without further ado, here are the rankings!
6. Insurgentes (2009)
His debut full-length solo project, Wilson brought in a number of familiar faces to act as session musicians on this one, such as Tony Levin, Jordan Rudess, and Gavin Harrison. However, Insurgentes simply doesn’t provide the same experience felt with any of Wilson’s other solo outings. There are a few memorable tracks, but overall, the flow and quality of music is the lowest of the bunch.
Highlight Tracks: “Insurgentes,” “Harmony Korine,” “No Twilight Within The Courts Of The Sun,”
5. Grace For Drowning (2011)
Bit of an atypical ranking here; Grace For Drowning has some great moments, but a lot of the material unfortunately gets lost in the void between alternative rock and jazz fusion. What sets it ahead of its predecessor is that it does have some really great and beautiful songs mixed in between the more mediocre tracks.
Highlight Tracks: “Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye,” “Grace For Drowning,” “Deform To Form A Star,”
4. The Future Bites (2021)
The album Prog magazine called “OK Computer for the Amazon age” is certainly a controversial step forward in Wilson’s career. Featuring songs more electronically involved than had been previously heard in his discography, The Future Bites was a bold change, but one that kept a signature Steven Wilson feel to it (musically, lyrically, and conceptually) and payed off in many respects.
Highlight Tracks: “Man Of The People,” “Count Of Unease,” “12 Things I Forgot,”
3. To The Bone (2017)
A bit turning point in Wilson’s career, To The Bone saw him embrace his pop influences more than previously in his solo work. The result was a creatively unique pop album full of memorable numbers; the kind of track-list where each song is a highlight.
Highlight Tracks: “Pariah,” “Nowhere Now,” “Song Of Unborn,”
2. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) (2013)
A concept album that featured supernatural and otherwise strange tales, Raven nostalgically recalls classic prog elements from the seventies but gives a modern twist to them, making one of the most unique albums of the past decade. A more in-depth review can be read here.
Highlight Tracks: “The Raven That Refused To Sing,” “Drive Home,” “Luminol,”
1. Hand. Cannot. Erase. (2015)
This album is a masterpiece. With conceptual themes of isolation and loneliness in the modern age, Hand. Cannot. Erase. provides one of the most complete-feeling collections of music ever put together. Every song feels like a perfectly written and executed piece of musical art.
Highlight Tracks: “Routine,” “Ancestral,” “Happy Returns,”