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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
5 stars By the time Porcupine Tree's third studio album, The Sky Moves Sideways, was released, Steven Wilson had put together the core of the band by adding Colin Edwin on bass, Chris Maitland on drums, and Richard Barbieri on keyboards. Wilson had assembled this band because there now was a need for Porcupine Tree to perform their music live. All three new members had worked with Wilson on various projects prior to this (Maitland and Barbieri had been part of No-Man's touring band), so they were keen to the sound and direction of Porcupine Tree. Recording for The Sky Moves Sideways actually started before Wilson added the new members, so the album has some songs featuring the whole band and some in which Wilson performed all the musical parts.

The Sky Moves Sideways was Porcupine Tree's most successful release at the time, often hailed as the successor to Pink Floyd and even suggesting that this was what Pink Floyd should have been doing in the 1990s. The Pink Floyd influences are clearly heard on this album and even Wilson himself admitted that he tried to maintain that Floydian vibe throughout the album because it was attracting Pink Floyd fans, although he regrets it. Regardless of Wilson's comments, the album is amazing and I would go as far as saying that although it has such a Floydian feel to it, there is still a good deal of this album that isn't like Pink Floyd, such as the extensive sections of ambient soundscapes and melodies. I think many listeners that hear something that sounds spacey, ultimately invoke the Pink Floyd name without ever actually giving it much thought. Some even make the comparison with Wish You Were Here because the title track was divided into two and placed at the beginning and ending of the album like the Shine on You Crazy Diamond suite. That's about it for the comparison for me though. Musically it is quite different from Wish You Were Here with the only exception being the use of lush synthesizers in places. Like its predecessor, Up the Downstair, The Sky Moves Sideways is the perfect marriage of psychedelic rock, ambient experiments, and contemporary rock.

There were three different releases of the album, a European release, a US release, and an expanded edition released in 2004. My review is for the European release, but the track listings from the other two releases would not effect my overall rating of this album in anyway. This is clearly a masterpiece to my ears and is still in my mind the best Porcupine Tree album ever released (even with parts of it recorded before Wilson formed the core of the band). An essential purchase that should be in every prog rock fan's collection. Five stars.

progaardvark | 5/5 |


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