HiRez Poll Wilson, Steven - THE FUTURE BITES [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of Steven Wilson - THE FUTURE BITES


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rtbluray

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Please post your thoughts and comments on the new solo album from Steven Wilson entitled "The Future Bites".

This album is Steven's first release in Dolby Atmos. The Blu-Ray also contains a 5.1 surround mix for those who do not have Dolby Atmos speaker setups.

The Blu-Ray is available on its own or within the "LIMITED EDITION DELUXE BOX SET".

(y) :) (n)



 

knifeman

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Based on what we've heard so far (which was quite a bit), I had my mind made up that this was not to be my cup of tea. But after my initial listen, I went back for a second spin and decided I might have been a bit premature in my opinion. Those individual singles which didn't impress me all that much, when heard in the context of the whole album, suddenly start to sound like something you want hear again and again. And SW's style on this effort is a genre that I never got into, but he incorporates enough of his previous sound that he makes it work. For me anyway, and that's after only two listens. I'll cast my vote after a few more plays. I'm thinking that this might be one of those albums that grows on you the more you hear it. The fidelity is pristine, with a lot happening in the surrounds (I'm not Atmos able). I was on the fence with this one, but I'm definitely glad I got it. And Amazon had it at my door the day after it's release. 👍
 

DaverJ

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Based on what we've heard so far (which was quite a bit), I had my mind made up that this was not to be my cup of tea. But after my initial listen, I went back for a second spin and decided I might have been a bit premature in my opinion. Those individual singles which didn't impress me all that much, when heard in the context of the whole album, suddenly start to sound like something you want hear again and again. And SW's style on this effort is a genre that I never got into, but he incorporates enough of his previous sound that he makes it work. For me anyway, and that's after only two listens. I'll cast my vote after a few more plays. I'm thinking that this might be one of those albums that grows on you the more you hear it. The fidelity is pristine, with a lot happening in the surrounds (I'm not Atmos able). I was on the fence with this one, but I'm definitely glad I got it. And Amazon had it at my door the day after it's release. 👍
Same experience for me, although I was more optimistic going in based on his previous album (To The Bone).

I dug the pre-release singles, particularity 12 Things, and those 5 songs clicked together when listening as an album. At first I was disappointed at the length -- it seemed to be missing at least one song. But now I'm not so sure. I think he says everything he wanted to say on these 9 tracks which flow together well. This is an intentionally shorter experience, much different than Porcupine Tree's The Incident, which doesn't fit on a single CD but seems like it could have been trimmed to make it a tighter listen.

My first time through was the Atmos mix, and that's a fun experience, especially with the crazy panning at times - some instruments were flying up and all over the room. However, adding the limited range Atmos hight channels (in my setup) took away from some of the fidelity. My second listen was the LPCM surround, and I found that to be much more what I wanted. I was excited for the Atmos surround music experience because it works so well with video games and movies, but for music I think my preferred format is uncompressed 5.1, even with a touch of Dolby or DTS height upmix. And I still like having the native Atmos option as a novelty listen.

As expected, the mix and sonics are the pinniacle of sound to this fan's ears. On top of that, I really like the music of this album. I think a part of it's appeal for me is the fact that many SW fans aren't liking it - I feel they are missing the magic, possibly thrown off by the pre-release singles or the more electronic and slight "club-ish" (read - less Rock/Prog) nature at times. But I think history will prove the naysayers wrong.

This is a very solid, beginning to end singular experience that wisely knows when to quit.
 
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Toto4Ever

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Received my Blu Ray ( & CD. ) today. This is my third Steven Wilson purchase & although i love songs on "The Raven..." & "To The Bone", this is the first album where i don't want to skip a track. For me, this is an album, a concept album, not just a collection of songs to make up an album.

These are my brief thoughts of each track....

"Unself" - people might not think relevant, but it's the intro & is important & sets up the following track....& album....

"Self" - this immediately kicks in with attitude, vocally & musically. It feels quite "funky" - a "funkiness". What i'm immediately aware of is the use of synths. Throughout, this is a very hypnotic album, abundant with melodies, riffs & hooks, that stick in your head ( & ears - there's much detail, musically. )

"King Ghost" - One word comes to mind....."trippy".....again, hypnotic, with the synths & vocals, that falsetto, like his floating through the clouds, singing down to us. Attitude, runs through the whole of this album, to convey a feeling, for the listener.

"12 Things I Forgot" - Steven changes mood here, but still that wonderful essence of flow, melody & hook. I think of the "summer" listening to this. It brings a big smile to my face & i defy anyone not to sing along & tap their feet. For me this is a classic pop song & not out of place on this album. A favourite for me.

"Eminent Sleaze" - OMG ! We've left the "pop" for some kick ass sassy attitude. It's like Steven met Jake Shears in an Eastern brothel, with some disco / trance playing in there ! ( I also think Madonna makes an appearance, too ! ) To me, this is essentially a dance track, influenced by sex ! Raunchy !!!

"Man of The People" - Well after a night in the brothel with Jake Shears ( I don't mean any offence by the way - i'm gay myself - but never been near a brothel ! ) it's time to chill out a little & this is a chill song, again very hypnotic, dreamy & atmospheric. ( & even a "sexy, seductive" vocal. ) Very much similar to "12 Things I Forgot", in the sense it could be a "big chart hit". Both mainstream music, rather than niche.

"Personal Shopper" - We change mood again, ( but still that essence of complimenting what's gone before. ) Here, we've got a track we may be more familiar with, in the sense of varying musical tangents. This is a "road trip", or should i say a "space trip" ?? Musically, it's like "Dr. Who" meets "Knight Rider" & on the way they bump into Elton John. ( Well they do ! ) & David Bowie.....infact, as i listen again, i think "Jake" has popped back in, too !

"Follower" - When i first heard this i thought, "that drum beat, we're in for a bit of a "rocker here" & i think we are. It's a bit of a "party" song, a bit of fun, let your hair down, a bit of a "chant", but still hypnotic.

"Count Of Unease" - We finish the album, with another hypnotic, atmospheric, gentle track, ( A gorgeous vocal - SW doesn't get the credit, for what a good vocalist he is. ) coming back down to earth, from our 40 + minute musical space ship ride. Again, a little different, but compliments what's gone before & a fitting ending to what i think is an exceptional album. Certainly, the best Steven Wilson album i've heard so far, imo. One that i know will be on repeat for sometime to come.....

I hope you've enjoyed my little write up ? I only go to these lengths, when i'm moved by something & this moves me emotionally, excites me & makes me feel something & that's what good music does. Finally, i think sometimes "less is more" ( I don't mean the length of the album. ) & i can think of SW songs that were extended, when they didn't need to be, where a great song, then got lost a little. I don't think anything got lost on this album.

( I've listened to the Dolby Atmos Mix twice & part way through 5.1 mix. ) A "12" for the music & "10" for the mix. )

Enjoy ! Love it !!!
 
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marpow

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I voted 10. My Deluxe Box Set 3106/5000.
I have read a lot here on QQ about this release and have watched You Tube videos. I had focused on the negative side of all the chatter and became slightly biased to not being impressed.

The three reviews before me are spot on. My first impression when opening the box was "what a lot of junk" but things started to change for me. This is brand new music, never heard before, unlike some box sets that are for music 20-50 years old where I am most interested in the surround music. I decided it would be in my best interest to experience the box set in it's entirety.
Took some time and looked at all the paper in the box set which started to reveal it's theme.
Then it was off to the Blu Ray Atmos mix. Really good, track one starts off right away with a swirling Atmos sound. Track after track the Atmos mix is very engaging with a certain style unlike some others. Highly enjoyable.
Then I watched the 3 videos, really helped me with the content and vocals on the 3 tracks, engaged me to more understand the disc theme in it's complete form.

Then listened to the stereo instrumentals, which helped me with musical foundation, showing me how much guitar, drums, etc where really present, when and where.
After reading DaverJ review I went back to a 5.1 DTS-HD Mstr listen and I happen to agree with him the fidelity a little better in the 5.1 and for whatever it is worth the experience of listening in 5.1 is still very satisfying and I felt I had two good listens.

I am walking away really liking this, as much as I liked Hand.Cannot.Erase and I believe the reason is the box set, really helped me understand the intent of the artist.

Before my detailed listen, Steven's falcetto vocals, lack of heavy overall sound, was my turned off bias, now I am completely turned around, I get it. I get what his intent is with this release. It made me think of myself and place in this world.

LETS KEEP ALL POLLS PURE. ONLY REVIEWS, NO SHIPPING, OFF TOPIC CHATTER, ETC.
 
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splinter7

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Question: Are the bonus cuts available in Deluxe Edition in 5.1 or strictly stereo?
 

musicmanhires

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After several listening's the Dolby Atmos surround mix sounds great IMO! To me it definitely adds more to the mix vs the 5.1. but to each there own. Music wise "The Future Bites" album is kind of a slow burn. It didn't initially grab and hook me like "To the Bone" did but It's starting to really grow on me. I think the more I play it the more I'm going to like it. All in all a solid album. See what you think!
 

The56Kid

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I was immediately floored by the fidelity and surround mix in LPCM5.1 (no Atmos) on my first listen. Both are simply off the charts.

I didn’t listen to any of the advance release ‘singles’, but the general consensus by PT/Wilson lovers was that they were letdown. I’ve been a major fan since Signify and I’ve enjoyed every change of direction Steven’s deemed necessary to fulfill his artistry and The Future Bites is no different. I knew I liked it after my first listen.

Like our good friend @marpow, I listened to the instrumental versions, albeit with one of my AVR’s DSPs, and I found it revelatory. There’s a lot more at play musically here than one would expect from a fairly stripped down album.

I vote an enthusiastic and unqualified 10.
 
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I have the blu-ray only version of this. A couple of listens in I'm hugely impressed with the tracks and the 5.1 mix in LPCM and DTS-HDMA - I've not spent much time with the stereo yet. There is an authoring issue which I'm wondering if anyone else is affected by...on my OPPO BDP83 on my initial listens whilst I was able to hear the album fine in the 5.1 audio flavours all I was seeing, irrespective of whatever I select, was the white-on-black Caroline International logo. Throughout. No video happened when I selected the videos, just the audio...Patrick Cleasby's excellent Stereonet review of the album mentions 'The Future Bites-themed screens that accompany playback' - I didn't see those either.

It was only when I selected Atmos in the top menu to see what might happen that anything different happened. I can now have the white TFB tin can 'unself' image. Throughout. I can select all the different audio flavours successfully, but nothing changes image-wise. Still can't see the videos...

If I eject and reload the disc, select Atmos and select a different track I get to see that track's image - throughout.

Having conscientiously avoided all the trailed videos so I could get the full album experience this is disappointing - I'd like to have the option of seeing them. I'm fully on board for whatever direction of experimental journey SW chooses to take me on. Musically and sonically this is a great album, but what a shame that a properly thorough level of disc testing / authoring QC doesn't appear to have been done - it's not like they didn't have the time! Essentially if I fiddle about I can choose either the black Caroline International screen or a white album image and that's it. I won't vote yet so I can get myself back to the headspace of hearing it rather than trying to log and describe the authoring failings...

Interested to know if anyone else has this issue.
(Sorry if this poll area is the wrong place to talk about it).
 

skherbeck

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I can't believe it's been 4 years since Steven's last solo album, "To The Bone"! I discovered Mr. Wilson around the time of "Raven" and "Hand", and wow, what magic those albums were. The music and musicianship instantly grabbed me and each album carried me through from start to finish effortlessly, begging for another listen (and another and another...). I then went back and purchased his earlier solo albums "Insurgentes" and "Grace", and realized this is a man of many musical tastes, and they don't always align with mine. Honestly, I really don't care for those two albums at all. When "Bone" came out, I think my expectations were so high that I was destined to be disappointed (and initially I was). Ultimately, however, I ended up really enjoying about half the songs... but I was worried that maybe Steven's muses were calling him away from the kind of music that made me such a fan. Well, after 4 long years "The Future Bites" is here... 8 new songs (and a little album intro that isn't really a song). It's a pleasant listen, I suppose, but I find my attention wandering away midway through "Personal Shopper" not to return (and for such a short album, I don't think that's a good thing). There are no killer drum fills or extended keyboard solos or mind-blowing guitar solos to be found here. There aren't any songs that I would consider classic. Aside from a few songs that are pretty OK ("King Ghost", "12 Things I Forgot", and "Man of the People"), the rest is kind of forgettable for me. I guess our tastes continue to drift apart.
In terms of the mix and fidelity, this album is perfect. The 5.1 surround mix is discrete and aggressive and the fidelity hits all the right frequencies to keep your ears happy, so if you like the music, you need to get this. This is a disappointing 8 for me 😐.
 

zimmy

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I was very nervous about how i would respond to this disc. My fear was that i would find it to have excellent audio but not my kind of music. But i am really liking this disc BOTH because of the excellent audio and the songs in themselves. I think Steven has also showed how an perfect Dolby Atmos disc should sound.
 

MrSmithers

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Well I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this album for a week now… The mix and fidelity are superb on both the 5.1 and Atmos tracks. I really like the music too, just more my cup of tea compared to some of the earlier stuff…

The concept and themes referenced are also really interesting. In fact I found myself watching the Personal Shopper video saying “That’s Brent Cross shopping centre! That’s where I’ve bought lots of things mentioned in this song!” 😂

So I’ve plumped for a strong 9. I was very close to giving this album a 10. However I just feel the last song is lacking a bit. I would’ve preferred the original line up to be honest. it’s also a bit annoying Atmos isn’t available as an option for the videos… But all in it’s a great release and I can definitely recommend it as a reference for surround… 😎
 

groo

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After a bit trepidation, just have too many surround albums that I don't enjoy plus his TFB singles did not really interest me, nonetheless I took the plunge and purchased TFB. I have to say, this is a good cohesive album with a unifying theme exploring consumerism, self indulgence, etc, sans "cancel culture". Music is a slight departure from TTB and his other guitar dominated albums but it's interesting nonetheless. I listened to the 5.1 on my mellow marantz and parasound gear and I liked it. Lot of details with instrumentation (synthetic mainly) that really gives the tracks a wholesome lush sound to the tracks. In short excellent mix, Steven undeniably the master of the art of remixing to MCH.

On the Atmos, I used my Denon with 5.2.4 system. I was just not blown away as I expected to be over the 5.1 mix. Sure Elton John's voice spans over my hand and the others around the height speakers but it did not feel organic.

I am not sure this will get the same or even quarter of the repeat listens from the likes of Deadwing, Lightbulb Sun or In Absentia but it's certainly miles ahead of Grace for Drowning. But then again, who knows, it might grow on me like The Vicar DVDA did.
All in all, I am giving it a 9 just for the mix.
 
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The56Kid

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After a bit trepidation, just have too many surround albums that I don't enjoy plus his TFB singles did not really interest me, nonetheless I took the plunge and purchased TFB. I have to say, this is a good cohesive album with a unifying theme exploring consumerism, self indulgence, etc, sans "cancel culture". Music is a slight departure from TTB and his other guitar dominated albums but it's interesting nonetheless. I listened to the 5.1 on my mellow marantz and parasound gear and I liked it. Lot of details with instrumentation (synthetic mainly) that really gives the tracks a wholesome lush sound to the tracks. In short excellent mix, Steven undeniably the master of the art of remixing to MCH.

On the Atmos, I used my Denon with 5.2.4 system. I was just not blown away as I expected to be over the 5.1 mix. Sure Elton John's voice spans over my hand and the others around the height speakers but it did not feel organic.

I am not sure this will get the same or even quarter of the repeat listens from the likes of Deadwing, Lightbulb Sun or In Absentia but it's certainly miles ahead of Grace for Drowning. But then again, who knows, it might grow on me like The Vicar DVDA did.
All in all, I am giving it a 9 just for the mix.
Always interesting to me how all of us are unique individuals and have varying opinions and tastes. I’ve always felt that Grace For Drowning is an absolute masterpiece and one of SW’s best solo releases but I seem to be in the minority in that opinion. Oh well.
 

sjcorne

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I’ve always felt that Grace For Drowning is an absolute masterpiece and one of SW’s best solo releases but I seem to be in the minority in that opinion. Oh well.
Some of my favorite tracks from SW's solo career are on it ("Deform To Form A Star", "Index", "Like Dust I Have Cleared..."), but as a whole it's definitely one of those albums that demands additional patience and effort from the listener to fully 'unlock' it. TFB is kind of its polar opposite in many respects, intended to hook you right from the first listen with lots of catchy melodies, shorter songs, little-to-no improvisation, etc. That's not to say that there's nothing deeper below the surface on TFB though...

I'm one who gets antsy during the extended instrumentals in songs like "Luminol" and "Ancestral" (sacrilege!), but I almost feel that he went too far in cutting things down here to hit that 40 minute mark--there's some cool soundscape-y bits in the extended versions of "King Ghost" and "Eminent Sleaze" that I wish made the final album (and would've sounded great in surround).
 

Karonte

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I have the blu-ray only version of this. A couple of listens in I'm hugely impressed with the tracks and the 5.1 mix in LPCM and DTS-HDMA - I've not spent much time with the stereo yet. There is an authoring issue which I'm wondering if anyone else is affected by...on my OPPO BDP83 on my initial listens whilst I was able to hear the album fine in the 5.1 audio flavours all I was seeing, irrespective of whatever I select, was the white-on-black Caroline International logo. Throughout. No video happened when I selected the videos, just the audio...Patrick Cleasby's excellent Stereonet review of the album mentions 'The Future Bites-themed screens that accompany playback' - I didn't see those either.

It was only when I selected Atmos in the top menu to see what might happen that anything different happened. I can now have the white TFB tin can 'unself' image. Throughout. I can select all the different audio flavours successfully, but nothing changes image-wise. Still can't see the videos...

If I eject and reload the disc, select Atmos and select a different track I get to see that track's image - throughout.

Having conscientiously avoided all the trailed videos so I could get the full album experience this is disappointing - I'd like to have the option of seeing them. I'm fully on board for whatever direction of experimental journey SW chooses to take me on. Musically and sonically this is a great album, but what a shame that a properly thorough level of disc testing / authoring QC doesn't appear to have been done - it's not like they didn't have the time! Essentially if I fiddle about I can choose either the black Caroline International screen or a white album image and that's it. I won't vote yet so I can get myself back to the headspace of hearing it rather than trying to log and describe the authoring failings...

Interested to know if anyone else has this issue.
(Sorry if this poll area is the wrong place to talk about it).
Sorry to hear about that. I bought the standard blu-ray only as well. I had no problem during playback in my Samsung UBD-K8500 (I've got two more BD players, an old LG and a Pioneer BDP-450, I can try with them too). I played on the PC too and I recorded the screen while watching and I had no problem (only a little problem with the title menus a bit misplaced), no audio, only video below.

The screen was changing as music was played. I went to Atmos part and, a different image is shown for each song, but no video, only still image.

Edit: I played it on the Pioneer BDP-450 too and I had no problem.

View attachment Wilson.mp4
 
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