Ray Wilson - Song For A Friend album review

Navels on parade.

Ray Wilson Song For A Friend album cover

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Considering that Ray Wilson has watched two gilt-edged career opportunities – with Stiltskin and Genesis – crumble to dust, he’s probably entitled to a little navel-gazing now that he’s tipped into his forties.

Instead, he’s gazed into the navels of some of those closest to him: the embittered former friend, the over-analytical friend who still gets it wrong, the childhood friend paralysed by an accident who commits a pre-planned suicide back in his hometown, the girlfriend facing a career-threatening injury.

Wilson probes each navel with an observant lyrical clarity though obviously, as the narrator, he gets to put his own slant on it. And his voice draws you in; there is a reason Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford picked him as a Genesis singer. Obviously you can’t gaze into other navels without poking around your own and discovering your own spiritual fluff. But Wilson makes a convincing thread out of it.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.