Review by Marpow March 8, 2015 (7 of 12 found this review helpful)
|Steven Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase (deluxe edition) 2015
This is a daunting task to write a review of this edition. A very graphic, with parts and pieces, book and 4 discs with different info and choices.
As always my style of review is to be short and to the point.
I had never heard of Steven Wilson until I became a member of SACD.net and I am hooked through this recording.
Performance: A little bit of his past and style, a little less synth then before, some straight ahead rock and pop. Two tracks with a female vocal, Katherine Jenkins and Ninet Tayeb. I will touch more on this but this is a female story told from a female perspective. Musicians are extraordinary and I listen and watch on DVD and I become in awe of the musicians capabilities. This performance is very layered and deep with an overall melancholy feel which I personally always can relate to as there is always the down side to my manic side. Besides your basic rock concept of guitar, bass, and drums there is a consistent use of mellotron M4000, hammond B3, piano, banjo, FX programming, strings, etc. A superb performance that I will be lucky enough to see live in San Francisco, this coming June.
RBCD Stereo disc #1 Demos 2013-2014: 8 tracks, 2 of the 8 are not on final disc. The sound quality on demos are great and as with any demo, I the listener, can understand why the artist built there final cut from there, keeping in mind that SW was sole artist of demos except on tracks 2 and 5.
RBCD Stereo disc #2 Hand.Cannot.Erase. 11 tracks. The RBCD version in the car sounds fantastic. I certainly don't worry about compressed CD recordings. It is a great 16/44.1 disc that for me is only to be used in car.
DVD Disc #3 Comes in LPCM 24/96 stereo and DTS 5.1 with Video,"making of", photos, credits, extras. As disc plays the picture pages of book change on there own via the monitor. The picture resolution is of course not as good as the Blu Ray. I listened to the only surround choice on DVD, DTS 5.1
Blu Ray Disc #4 All of the above plus instrumentals, piano themes, versions (radio, edits),etc.
96/24 5.1 LPCM. I listened to the LPCM 5.1. Picture quality on BD of course better than DVD.
Note: On my particular BD it would not play so as I was taught by the McIntosh President when this happens, I take a fine sand paper and lightly smooth the inner hole for a proper fix.
DVD and BD Menus: Very cool and easy to navigate.
Stereo Sonics: superb, big sound stage, clear, deep, and crisp.
Multichannel Sonics: Very intense and big. All speakers mixed to perfection. There are no weak spots or over done spots, which really bugs me when that happens. Some tracks have a background vocal that is like a stereo track behind a mch track, very cool. Sound fills room, is an understatement. Choir boys are beautiful in 5.1, along with tracks of sea and rain and children playing in street.
Packaging: A large hardbound book approx 13" X 12" and 1" thick. Discs 1&2 are on front of cover and discs 3&4 are on back cover with great sturdy holders. Rear liner notes have all musicians on tracks and what instruments they played. All photo and artwork credits.
This part of my review is where I was captured. This is a concept album. The story is of a woman who feels out of sorts with society and her family. She accepts personal responsibility for her isolation, she likes it, the further she isolates, even while working at a job. She has no friends, brief sexual encounters and a relationship with a cat that is brief. This story is only in the book, and I found it fascinating. The DVD and the BD show, onscreen, every picture that is in the book, but not the diary. The book also has loose artifacts that are perfect reproductions of newspaper clips, notes, letters and things. I loved it all.
In The End: This was a great purchase for me and I am not that big with elaborate box sets. This did not feel like a box set to me, it felt, well, like an all encompassing story that captivated me.
We at SACD.net have been in discussion about this release and I hope my review helps in making your decision as to what way to purchase. The Deluxe Edition as I did or the CD/DVD combo or the Blu Ray stand alone disc. There isn't a bad choice with Steven Wilson Hand.Cannot.Erase.
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