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Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet CD (album) cover

FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.22 | 1857 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Second Life Syndrome
4 stars This is, without a doubt, my favorite Porcupine Tree album. No, I'm not a huge fan of the band. In fact, I prefer The Pineapple Thief (often compared). However, I think this PT album finally has something that is missing from some of their other releases: soul. Now, mind you, it's a dark soul. It's a disturbed soul. But it's there. Steven Wilson, in my opinion, is a very mechanical, cold composer, but on "Fear of Blank Planet" I feel that he finally gave us some emotion.

I had never heard this album until someone requested that I spotlight its lyrics for my Facebook page The PROG Mind. I agreed to do so, and ended up immersing myself in this album for some time. This is a concept album about a disturbed teen (possibly inspiration for Pendragon's "Pure"?). He's worthless. He's hopeless. And, most of all, he doesn't give a damn. He wallows in self- pity, TV addiction, and drug abuse. He lives for sexual release and his dimly-lit room full of distractions. Yet, PT doesn't leave us there. They explore his screwy upbringing and his exposure to a society full of fakes, artificial standards, and frauds. With all of this, would you have any hope? Would you have the motivation to make something of yourself? What have we done to the kids?

But enough of my preaching. This album features the best instrumental passages that PT ever created. From the epic "Anesthetize" to the truly interesting title track, this album simply rocks with tight arrangements, spacey elements, and strong songwriting. Other PT albums, such as "In Absentia" and "Deadwing", were really good, but I feel they were missing a certain something for me to grasp musically. This album, however, packs a punch full of awesome guitar work (both acoustic and electric), masterful drumming, and true atmosphere. It also has soul in its topic, but also in its music, too. These guys were firing on all cylinders when they made this album.

So, is this a masterpiece? This is my favorite PT album, but I won't call it a masterpiece. It is excellent in every way, but I feel that the last two tracks drop in quality and personality quite dramatically. That said, this is certainly a worthy album that offers plenty in the way of jaw- dropping moments.

Second Life Syndrome | 4/5 |

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