Wilson, Ray - The Next Best Thing

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut Music
Catalog Number: IOMCD 171 SPV 085-60782
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:38:00

In 1996 Ray Wilson auditioned with Genesis, to fill the spot Phil Collins left, when he went solo and thus Ray Wilson entered the world of progressive Rock, after having been successful with Stiltskin in 1994. Unfortunately after one album with Wilson, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks decided to end Genesis and that left Wilson solo. But he managed to get a deal with InsideOut Music and has now released his second solo album, The Next Best Thing.

Frankly said: I like The Next Best Thing very much, but I would not call it progressive rock. Even far from it. The twelve songs on the album vary from soft, fragile ballads to nice rock songs and I do like Wilson's voice very much! He is a great vocalist, with a Peter Gabriel edge to his voice, however that is not disturbing. The sound is mainly quiet, focussing on acoustic instruments, with occasional electric guitars passing by. In the ballad "Alone" I hear a definite Chris Isaak sound as well as mood, which sets the album close to being pop music.

Ray Wilson manages to set the right mood on The Next Best Thing and it is a feel good album, as I enjoyed listening to it. Production could use some work, as, for example, on "Inside," the electric guitar comes out very sharp, which is not pleasant to listen to. But outside that, it is a great album, with very strong compositions. Based on this, I might give the Genesis album he sang on a chance.

It's not progressive rock, more pop/rock, but nonetheless very good, mainly because Wilson is one hell of a great singer and I hope a good progressive band will invite him to be their vocalist. I think a lot of people will enjoy this album, so it comes recommended.

Released in North America by InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2083)

[This review originally appeared July 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
These Are The Changes / Inside / How High / The Fool In Me / Adolescent Breakdown / Sometimes / Alone / Magic Train / The Actor / Ever The Reason / Pumpkinhead / The Next Best Thing

Ray Wilson - vocals, guitar

Guaranteed Pure - Swing Your Bag
Stiltskin - The Minds Eye
Genesis - Calling All Stations
Live And Acoustic (2002)
Change (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.raywilson.co.uk
Hits: 745
Language: english


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