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Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.98 | 1235 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3.5 Stars, rounded up because it is an excellent album to have and listen from time to time. This album is the end of the atmospheric and improvisational phase of Porcupine Tree's career and a start of their more accessible period which focuses on tight songwriting and an avoidance of self-indulgent instrumental excesses. You might call this a big pile of solid pop songs (the catchy Piano Lessons and the melodic "Pure Narcotic" sound very commercial), but for me, the songs have too much depth to be compared to the top 40 songs and MTV, not to mention how original and unique each song sounds, and how diverse the album is as a whole. Songs range from epic rock "Even Less", acoustic pop "Pure Narcotic", Funk-rock "Slave Called Shiver", pop "Stranger by the Minute", mellow songs "Stop Swimming, Baby Dream, A Smart Kid", heavy music "No rehearsal", a complex instrumental, and the mainly instrumental "Don't Hate Me" which features flute and saxophone solos and a beautiful complex bass line driving the song in the instrumental part.

My highlights are "Even Less", a very memorable rock song with outstanding vocal melodies and soft/heavy dynamics, "Pure Narcotic" with its great acoustic guitar playing and catchy melodies, the symphonic and deep "A Smart Kid", and the sublime "Don't Hate me" which is the only song here that brings back those instrumental excesses of their past that I love as long as it is used sparingly. The songs that bring the rating down is the endless dull closer "Stop Swimming", and the Radiohead-sounding tune "Stranger by the Minute" which doesn't move me in any way.

1. Even Less (A-)

2. Piano Lessons (C+)

3. Stupid Dream ()

4. Pure Narcotic (A)

5. Slave Called Shiver (B+)

6. Don't Hate Me (A-)

7. This Is No Rehearsal (C)

8. Baby Dream in Cellophane (C+)

9. Stranger By The Minute (C-)

10. A Smart Kid (B+)

11. Tinto Brass (B+)

12. Stop Swimming (D+)

A good starting point for the band. The music here is very accessible.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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