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Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1268 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I bought the 2004 double CD release only because it was a better deal, but I'm sure glad I did, because the extra disk contains my favorite material. I enjoy the alternative version of the title track more than the original, and Moonloop is so much better when the coda is tacked onto it. Many reviewers have noted the obvious Floyd influence, but fewer have noted the just-as-apparent dance/club music influence. Throw in some Middle-Eastern flair, and you have a serviceable (though still quite imprecise) way to describe this album. You have to be patient, but this album will slowly grow on you.

The Sky Moves Sideways (alternate version). The run-time suggests that this would be one beast of a track, but musically it's much more tame. The basic progression is straightforward: a Floydian intro, a simple main theme, an extended upbeat dance section, mellow die-down, a spacey guitar/synth section, and a creepy vocal outtro. It's that simple. There are some captivating soundscapes and guitar tones (though not many solos) along the way as well. The alternate version generally has more percussion and guitar lines, though unfortunately the final guitar solo on the original didn't make the alternate--I prefer the alternate, though these distinctions aren't great. There's certainly some padding to be found here, but not so much to keep me away.

Moonloop (improv and coda). Again, you have to be in the right mood for this one. Also, if I don't have the coda to look forward to, then it seems a lot more pointless in my mind. As far as spacey improvs go, you can do a lot worse: cool guitar, and the bass, percussion and keys are on the same page, which keeps thing coherent. And then comes the coda: an awesome, raw, and powerful groove that builds to a classic freak-out. I wish Porcupine Tree could harness more of this intensity!

The rest of the album is rather forgettable--not bad, but not especially captivating either. I guess I have yet to discover what some others have regarding this album: it seems rather slow, padded, and uninspired in places. If you're in the mood for ambient music with a little bit of an edge, then this may be right up your alley, though I rarely find myself in that mood.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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