Steven Wilson - The Future Bites

Steven Wilson – The Future Bites


The ‘go to’ Prog Rock musician Steven Wilson is going out on a limb with an album still showing its prog roots, but giving it a makeover with the sounds of Dance, Pop and Ambient soundscapes.

Written by: Explorer

ARTIST: Steven Wilson
ALBUM: The Future Bites
LABEL: Caroline International
YEAR: 2021


LINEUP: Steven Wilson – vocals, guitars, keyboards * David Kosten – keyboards* Adam Holzman – keyboards * Nick Beggs – bass, chapman stick * Michael Spearman – drums * Richard Barbieri – keyboards * Wendy Harriot, Bobbie Gordon, Crystal Williams – background vocals * Sir Elton John – guest vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Unself * 02 Self * 03 King Ghost * 04 12 Things I Forgot * 05 Eminent Sleaze * 06 Man Of The People * 07 Personal Shopper * 08 Follower * 09 Count Of Unease

RATING: Score=95%

WEBLINKS: Site Link | FB Page


Steven Wilson’s sixth studio album, ‘The Future Bites’ was originally slated for release on June 12th 2020, but was delayed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally got its release Friday, January 29th 2021.

Steven Wilson has long been one of the most adventurous as well as controversial artists in modern art/progressive rock. From his work with Porcupine Tree, I.E.M, Storm Corrosion, Bass Communion, No Man and Blackfield, which all cover a myriad of musical as well as alongside the unpredictable nature of his past few solo albums.

And it’s for this reason that Wilson will always challenge and reinvent and that truly makes him a progressive musician, and this new album is no different.

The Songs

It’s essentially a concept album that revolves around a post-apocalyptic vision of an overly materialist society, so with that out of the way, it’s onto the songs themselves.

Well specifically it sees Wilson fully embracing his well documented affection for 1980’s Synthpop and electronic music more than ever before, something which he has dabbled with on some of his previous releases.

The short intro, ‘Unself’ is stark and bleak which makes way for ‘Self’ that immediately takes on a dance rhythm coupled with a hushed vocal that’s quite unsettling, but then utilised the female backing vocalists to great effect, something that Pink Floyd have done so well in the past.

‘King Ghost’ is quite possibly akin to a more surreal and unsettling offshoot of something that could have come off his previous album ‘To the Bone’, and is a hypnotic walk through the world of electronica. ’12 Things I Forgot’ is a quite beautiful, simple melodic song that harks back to his many acoustic guitar tracks giving it an air of real nostalgia.

‘Eminent Sleaze’ with its infectious funk bass lines and intoxicating female backing vocals, is a dream, and ‘Man of the People’ is very reminiscent of the works of Talk, Talk with its sparse arrangement and wonderfully melancholic vocal from Wilson.

‘Personal Shopper’ is the longest track here, and is quite rightly the album centrepiece, with bizarrely, self-confessed shopaholic Elton John reading out a shopping list of unnecessary luxury items, which ties in perfectly with the albums theme. It’s essentially an upbeat dance/ pop track with trance elements, with a bridge that hints at psychedelia, and the accompanying video is quite something to behold.

‘Follower’ has, to my ears a touch of Sparks about it with its pulsating rock/dance hybrid and semi falsetto vocals, a la Russell Mael, and album closer ‘Count of Unease’ is a poignant and yet understated confession that’s right in line with past Wilson album finales. This album does take a fair few listens to bring out all of the subtle nuances that Wilson is adept at doing. Production-wise, again as with Wilson it’s of the highest quality and compliments perfectly the music.

In Summary

This album sees Steven Wilson doing what he’s always done, and that’s challenge, and rather than abandon who he is which is very much a single-minded artist and one with a sharp socio-political eye as well.

His objective, I believe has always been to test himself as an artist, which inherently means that he may gain and lose fans along the way. The alternative of course being for him to repeat himself, and I just don’t think that’s in his makeup.

For some of his fans, and I’m very much one, this will probably be seen as too much of a departure, but I think this album deserves applause for preserving Wilson’s integrity and creativity, even if it’s his most, intentionally perhaps divisive collection to date.


Personal Shopper

Steven Wilson - PERSONAL SHOPPER (Official Video)

King Ghost
Steven Wilson - KING GHOST (Official Video)

Eminent Sleaze
Steven Wilson - EMINENT SLEAZE (Official Video)

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