To the Bone (Steven Wilson album)

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To the Bone
To The Bone album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released18 August 2017 (2017-08-18)
RecordedDecember 2016 – April 2017
StudioStrangeways, London
Genre
Length59:46
LabelCaroline International
ProducerSteven Wilson, Paul Stacey
Steven Wilson chronology

(2016)
To the Bone
(2017)
Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
(2018)
Singles from To the Bone
  1. "Pariah"
    Released: 9 May 2017
  2. "The Same Asylum as Before"
    Released: 2 June 2017
  3. "Song of I"
    Released: 9 June 2017
  4. "Permanating"
    Released: 30 June 2017
  5. "Refuge"
    Released: 3 August 2017

To the Bone is the fifth studio album by British musician Steven Wilson, released on 18 August 2017 on Caroline International. It became Wilson's highest charting album ever, reaching number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard Independent Albums chart.

History[edit]

In late 2016, Wilson announced that he had returned to the studio to record his fifth album.[2] During the first months of 2017, Wilson released two work-in-progress studio clips to his YouTube channel. On 5 January, he released a clip of "Pariah" and on 12 February, he released a clip of "To the Bone", featuring harmonica player Mark Feltham.[3][4] Wilson continued to tease various images and small album details until 8 May when he revealed the track listing on his Instagram account and released the single "Pariah".[5][6] The following day on his Instagram, he announced the album and an upcoming 2018 European tour, and the following week, on 18 May, a music video was released for "Pariah".[7][8] Four further singles were eventually released: "The Same Asylum As Before", "Song of I", "Permanating" and "Refuge". A video for "Permanating" featuring a Bollywood dance troupe was released online on 21 July.[9] A video for "Nowhere Now" was released on 19 September. A video for "The Same Asylum as Before" was released on 31 January 2019.

Concept and sound[edit]

According to Wilson, the album was inspired by the progressive pop records of his youth, such as Peter Gabriel's So, Kate Bush's Hounds of Love, Talk Talk's The Colour of Spring, and Tears for Fears' The Seeds of Love.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic77/100[11]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[12]
Classic Rock4/5 stars
Drowned in Sound4/10[13]
Mojo4/5 stars[citation needed]
Planet Rock5/5 stars[14]
PopMatters7/10 stars[15]
Q4/5 stars[citation needed]
The Quietus3/5 stars[16]
Sputnikmusic4.5/5[1]

To The Bone received mostly positive reviews from critics. Metacritic, a review aggregator, gave the album a normalised rating of 77 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on reviews from 12 critics.[11]

Uncut magazine stated: "Wilson's fifth solo LP is a lush and ambitious piece of progressive pop music. Hitting on some heavy influences, including Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Bends-era Radiohead, and Todd Rundgren's electronic ballads, this insistently melodic, 11-song set is an old-school, sum-of-its parts experience".[17] Planet Rock rated the album five stars, commenting that "Steven Wilson delivers his progressive masterpiece".[14] Jordan Blum of Rebel Noise magazine said: "To the Bone is both a great album in its own right and a perfectly appropriate addition to Wilson's vast body of work".[18] Sputnikmusic rated the album 4.5/5, stating: "Steven Wilson proves that an artist can venture into uncharted musical waters, even 30 years into their career, for ambitious and vibrant results like these".[1]

The Quietus' Antonio Poscic criticised the album's "edgeless approach ... underlined by the warm, lush production that tries to recreate the fondly and wrongly remembered organic sound of old records. ... Ironically, the song that will surely be most controversial among his fans, 'Permanating', is a self-contained, resounding success ... To the Bone would have been a better album if it had completely embraced this sort of levity."[16] Drowned in Sound's Benjamin Bland felt Wilson "focused more on the idea of writing a pop record than on actually delivering the goods. There are hooks here, but they are scattered and often attached to tracks that come worryingly close to mediocre exercises in MOR."[13] Rob Pociluk of Progressive Music Planet called it "a poorly written, poorly arranged, disjointed collection of substandard songs. It's not prog but that's not why I don't like it."[19]

Accolades[edit]

PopMatters elected it the best progressive rock and metal album of 2017.[20]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Steven Wilson, except "To the Bone" with lyrics by Andy Partridge.

No.TitleLength
1."To the Bone"6:41
2."Nowhere Now"4:03
3."Pariah"4:46
4."The Same Asylum as Before"5:14
5."Refuge"6:43
6."Permanating"3:34
7."Blank Tapes"2:08
8."People Who Eat Darkness"6:02
9."Song of I"5:21
10."Detonation"9:19
11."Song of Unborn"5:55
Total length:59:46
Deluxe edition bonus disc (CD)
No.TitleLength
1."Ask Me Nicely (intro)"1:42
2."A Door Marked Summer"7:41
3."Pariah" (demo)4:58
4."People Who Eat Darkness" (demo)5:35
5."Refuge" (demo)4:59
6."The Same Asylum as Before" (demo)5:32
7."Ask Me Nicely"3:53
8."Northern Cyclonic"3:50
9."Detonation" (demo)10:18
10."Song of Unborn" (demo)6:56

Personnel[edit]

  • Steven Wilson – vocals (all tracks), guitars (all tracks except track 9), bass guitar (tracks 1–3, 5, 8 and 11), keyboards (all tracks), production
Additional personnel
Production

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 30
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[22] 7
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[23] 14
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[24] 9
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[25] 28
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[26] 34
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[27] 4
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[28] 1
French Albums (SNEP)[29] 24
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[30] 2
Irish Albums (IRMA)[31] 43
Italian Albums (FIMI)[32] 14
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[33] 5
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[34] 15
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[35] 14
Scottish Albums (OCC)[36] 2
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[37] 15
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[38] 26
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[39] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[40] 3
US Billboard 200[41] 58
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[42] 3
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[43] 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kuettel, Ben (10 August 2017). "Review: Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Back in the studio..." 16 December 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via Instagram.
  3. ^ "Steven Wilson - Pariah (Work in progress studio clip)". 5 January 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "Steven Wilson - To The Bone (Work in progress studio clip)". 12 February 2017 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Track Listing Reveal". 8 May 2017 – via Instagram.
  6. ^ "Pariah (Listening Video)". 8 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "After many months of writing and recording, I'm pleased to finally announce details of my new album To The Bone, and a major European tour in early 2018..." 9 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via Instagram.
  8. ^ "Steven Wilson - Pariah ft. Ninet Tayeb". 18 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Steven Wilson meets Bollywood in Permanating video". Prog. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  10. ^ "To the Bone - Steven Wilson". stevenwilsonhq. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b "To The Bone - Steven Wilson". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  12. ^ Jurek, Thom. "To the Bone - Steven Wilson". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Bland, Benjamin (15 August 2017). "Steven Wilson | To the Bone". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  14. ^ a b "The First Review for 'To the Bone' – "A Progressive Masterpiece"". StevenWilsonHQ.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  15. ^ Ezell, Brice (17 August 2017). "Steven Wilson | To the Bone". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  16. ^ a b Poscic, Antonio (29 August 2017). "To the Bone". The Quietus.
  17. ^ "Uncut Magazine has a Steven Wilson feature! • r/stevenwilson". reddit. Retrieved 21 July 2017.[better source needed]
  18. ^ "Steven Wilson - 'To the Bone'". www.rebelnoi.se. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  19. ^ Rob (2017-07-31). "Steven Wilson – "To the Bone"". Progressive Music Planet. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  20. ^ Blum, Jordan (30 November 2017). "The Best Progressive Rock and Metal of 2017". PopMatters. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Steven Wilson – To the Bone" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Steven Wilson – To the Bone" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Steven Wilson – To the Bone" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Steven Wilson Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201734 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Steven Wilson – To the Bone" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Steven Wilson: To the Bone" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Steven Wilson – To the Bone" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  31. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Steven Wilson". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  32. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  33. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  34. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  36. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  37. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Steven Wilson – To the Bone". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  40. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  41. ^ "Steven Wilson Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  42. ^ "Steven Wilson Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  43. ^ "Steven Wilson Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 August 2017.