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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover

LIGHTBULB SUN

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.01 | 1079 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
3 stars Porcupine Tree began to stray from their psychedelic roots into rock, or even metal territory with Stupid Dream (or perhaps even Signify). Their fan base grew with this move, though there were a few who never would approve of this change. The majority of us can appreciate the earlier albums, as well as the newer ones, and Lightbulb Sun is one of the albums that lands somewhere in the center of this ambient-to-metal transition. It incorporates elements of both veins of music, and both styles are excellent.

Though we often overlook Maitland's work, mainly because of Harrison's brilliance, he is undoubtedly very good drummer. He proves that fact on this album, though when Harrison plays Hatesong live, it is undeniable that Steven Wilson made a wise choice in signing Gavin up. Colin Edwin's bass playing is excellent, as always: soft an tranquil during psychedelic moments, powerful and quick during faster moments. No matter what the given song is about, his playing always fits perfectly.

Like always, Porcupine Tree's music flows from many extremely diverse styles. Much of the album is acoustic, and unfortunately, relatively simple in composition, with some rather unsophisticated lyrics here and there: a rare thing with Wilson. Luckily there are some very excellent songs to balance things out. The title track is very well written, which some distinct, catchy and moving melodies, along with interesting lyrics and a very beautiful guitar line. A more piano-led track, with a surreal-ish atmosphere, and excellent vocal melodies, is the wonderful How is Your Life Today? Many of the other tracks are weaker, with little to proclaim their individuality. Hatesong, however, is a very excellent track, which is extremely morphing, very complex musically, and rather captivating lyric-wise.

One of the most powerful and moving tracks here, and indeed in Porcupine Tree's discography, is perhaps Russia On Ice. The long and morphing song begins with excellent vocals and melodies, complemented by beautiful orchestra. It changes, until it reaches the powerful midpoint with a very brutal riff. This section is very well played, and features some of Maitland's most inspired drumming. Unfortunately, after this great track, the album ends on a low note with the very, very simple and melancholic Feel So Low.

The atmosphere is a bit weaker than Porcupine Tree's standards, but still stronger than the majority of albums outside of the space rock sub genre. Atmosphere is an important thing for me, especially with Porcupine Tree's music. If the music takes me away, if it really escorts me away from earth, and plants thoughts in my mind, and paints images in my head, then musical virtuosity doesn't matter, lyrical intelligence doesn't matter. Unfortunately, this album fails in captivating me as strongly as some others, and the certain spark with Porcupine Tree's music is missing on many a track.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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