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


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.25 | 2412 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Oh dear will anyone talk to me again when I say I find this - probably the most eagerly awaited (prog) release of the year so far - something of a disappointment?

I really enjoyed "Deadwing" and I love "Sky Moves Sideways" and the way Steve Wilson managed to move the band on from one style to another, yet still retain a distinctive sound. I think I expected another quantum leap here, but instead we get a good, highly organised, sometimes innovative album, but not one that really scales new heights or sets the pulse racing.

The album comprises six tracks, running in at around 50 minutes. It kicks off with the title track which is the weakest song here, musically and lyrically. Even after numerous listens I'm struggling to see why this track was allowed on the album. I doff my hat to Mr Wilson's numerous talents, but sometimes his lyrics let him down, and here frankly, they're abysmal, about the boring life of a slightly disturbed teenager. "A finger on the switch, my mother is a bitch.". C'mon Steve you can do better than that...I hope! "My Ashes" is better but we're still ambling along at sub-Deadwing standard here. Next though is the intended centrepiece of the album - "Anesthetize", clocking in at over 17 minutes, alternating between vocal and instrumental sections. Alex Lifeson contributes solo guitar (and very fine it is too!) Special note to Gavin Harrison for some great drumming on this track. As with all good music it benefits from repeated listening; it is probably the most ambitious track here, but still it doesn't linger in the memory like "The Sky Moves Sideways". Next up are the best two tracks on the album - "Sentimental" with an Edge like guitar riff running through it, and "Way Out of Here" which benefits from the texture given it by Fripp's "soundscapes". It reminded me in part of parts of TMV's "De-Loused" album. Finally a track about sex, "Sleep Together", conventional, solid rock and roll that left me with the feeling, er.. is that it?

Perhaps I expected too much, but compared to Deadwing, this is a disappointment.

Phil | 3/5 |


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