Stiltskin, Genesis – Ray Wilson indeed had some impressive stages during his career as a musician. I recently featured him with the song Shipwrecked in my Songs Of My Life postings. On 27th August 2021, he is presenting a new solo album. It is called The Weight Of Man.
Ray Wilson – About The Artist
Ray Wilson was born on 8th September 1968 in Dumfries, Scotland. After being part of a band called Guaranteed Hope in the 1990’s and even released an album with them, his major first stage was being part of Stiltskin. He especially has been part of their The Mind’s Eye album, which had very good charts placements all over Europe. The lead single Inside even topped the charts in the UK. Since 2005, Wilson is back with the band since 2005. In 1996, he left Stiltskin in order to join Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks for Genesis. Finally, there was just one Genesis album with Wilson, the 1997 …Calling All Stations… The album was not too much favored by the critics and by a majority of the fans. There are different stories about what happened thereafter – finally, Banks and Rutherford stopped the collaboration – likely hoping that they will get Phil Collins back into the band.
Since 2003, Ray Wilson is releasing solo albums. The Weight Of Man is already his seventh one. Ray Wilson albums regularly make it to lower positions in the German charts, where the Scot has likely till the highest popularity. He is an amazing artist live on stage, there are more live albums by Ray Wilson than studio ones.
Ray Wilson – The Weight Of Man – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 47 minutes. The album has been produced based on a crowdfunding campaign, by the way.
1. You Could Have Been Someone
The album starts with a slow rock track. Ray Wilson’s voice is having the impressive, catching character – just why I loved to listen to him in his Genesis voice. Very nice style.
2. Mother Earth
The sound of Mother Earth is rather limited. It is a perfect match for the hortative lyrics and the voice by Wilson. In the second part of the song, there is more power. But overall, the song comes with so much depth, so much atmosphere. Mother Earth is absolutely stunning.
3. We Knew The Truth Once
We Knew The Truth Once is one of my favorite. A bit of defensive, almost mousey, but very thoughtful. A great composition, in which the musicians work on point. You don’t need too much to create a great sound: Uwe Metzler, who co-wrote the track, on the guitars, Lawrie Mac Millan is adding some bass groove – and Nir Z., the former Genesis drummer is responsible for the rhythmic elements (like on most of the album). Really good!
4. I, Like You
I, Like You is not only one of the two single releases so far – it is also something like the Covid-19 song on the album. A track about missing people and the audience, but also social changes in the pandemic. More an epic drama than working in classic song structures. Great listen.
This song is the masterpiece of Ali Ferguson on the guitar of the whole album. Amelia comes in a very dramatic outfit, the repetitive lyrics almost give a frightening touch. The work on the guitar is amazing, though.
6. The Weight Of Man
If you want to give your title track even more weight, you may for example just make it the longest song on the album. If you want to listen to The Weight Of Man completely, you should free almost seven minutes. The song is one of the best in the albums, regardless of its duration. It also has a nice way of changing atmosphere by altering between acoustic and electric guitar.
7. The Last Laugh
The Last Laugh perfectly illustrates the musical level (and perfection) Ray Wilson has reached with the team around him. A superb melodic line with two conflicting melodies – but still the song feels like a five minute epic story.
8. Almost Famous
A short track, which also connects the massive central album songs with the finale. It is a great proof that Ray Wilson can do short, mainstream radio-compatible tracks as well. One of my favorite listen.
The next two songs, Symptomatic and Cold Like Stone feel rather simple and straight compared to the complex structures you had before. I haven’t been part of the crowdfunding campaign – but I read that Symptomatic was one of the fan favorites during the crowdfunding updates. Scott Spence on the keys is doing the key work on the melodic side of this song – and he really does good.
10. Cold Like Stone
Ray Wilson, Uwe Metzler, Laurie MacMilan – that’s it. Cold Like Stone does not even need a drummer. And you don’t miss it. These four minutes with Ray’s voice, Metzler on the guitar and MacMilian as a bassist are just great as they are. Thank you.
11. Golden Slumbers
The finale is the only song which has not been (co-)written by Ray Wilson, as Golden Slumbers is of course a Beatles cover. Ray Wilson creates so much power and magic. The cello parts then cool you down and create a direct, intimate atmosphere. Grand!
Ray Wilson – The Weight Of Man – Spotify
Here is The Weight Of Man on Spotify:
Ray Wilson – The Weight Of Man – My View
I guess I can shorten these final words as much as possible: Ray Wilson is an amazing musician, he improved over time and gathered the right people around him. The result is albums like The Weight Of Man. You feel like a very short time that this will be a Top Pick! – and Ray Wilson just does not disappoint you the whole album thereafter.
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