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Porcupine Tree - Signify CD (album) cover

SIGNIFY

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.81 | 816 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Signify marked a change in musical direction for Porcupine Tree. Instead of long ambient and psychedelic musical adventures, the band streamlined their sound into shorter, more digestible bites. Yes, the psychedelic feel is still there and the Floydian vibe is still present (though much weaker). It's just that now Porcupine Tree has been molded into a more palatable listening experience for the radio. Indeed, their first single released in the UK (Waiting) comes off this album, and much to my surprise, actually fared quite well. Signify was also the first Porcupine Tree album to feature an entire band from beginning to end unlike earlier releases which were almost entirely performed by Steven Wilson and featured programmed drums.

So, is this new sound an improvement? Yes and no. Yes in that Porcupine Tree sounds more like an actual prog rock band since it is now made up of the contributions of four members instead one. The more song-oriented approach attracts radio, which attracts listeners who aren't aware of the prog rock genre, which leads them to look for more similar music and, if we're lucky, ultimately to this site.

The downside to the change in Porcupine Tree's musical direction, is that this short song-oriented approach doesn't leave as much room for musical development or experimentation. However, I have to credit Steven Wilson for still experimenting within this limited format. I also feel that not one album since this transition has come close to the musicianship and compositions on The Sky Moves Sideways.

Leaving my negative thoughts aside, this is still a great album. Some of the songs I find boring, but most of them are very nicely crafted works of art. And I must credit Wilson for at least maintaining the integrity of the Porcupine Tree sound during this transition. Many 1970s prog bands could never receive such credit (for example Genesis, Yes, and ELP).

A nicely done, excellent work with elements of psychedelic and ambient rock. A bit of a downer compared to their previous two albums, but still good enough to receive four stars.

progaardvark | 4/5 |

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