Classic Rock Prog reviews “the lilypad suite”

Classic Rock Prog MagazineClassic Rock Prog Magazine | December 2011 | by Emma Johnston

Porcupine Tree seem to be the most octopus-like band in the prog universe: their tentacles reach every nook and cranny, and barely a week goes by without another new project or collaboration coming to light. John Wesley, a Florida-based touring guitarist with Stephen Wilson’s band, is back with his seventh solo album, a poised and thoughtful collection of sleepy, soul-searching ballads stuffed with late-night contemplation.

At The Lilypad Suite’s simplest, such as on the wearily glum opener An Elegant Mess, Wesley mixes the worldly ennui of Porcupine Tree of Pink Floyd with a radio-friendly singer-songwriter style. If that sounds like everything you buy this magazine to avoid, don’t panic, because there’s an underlying strangeness at play that quite beguiling. At times, he shares a vocal warmth with Craig B from much-missed Scottish post-rockers Aereogramme and, in Free and Walls of America, a deeply pessimistic and claustrophobic view of life and relationships. A Glittery Nothing, meanwhile, lurches queasily on a sinister melody that leaves you distinctly uneasy. As the nights draw in, this is the perfect album to cozy up to and embrace the dark nights of the soul.