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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover

LIGHTBULB SUN

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.01 | 1091 ratings

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ProgBagel
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Porcupine Tree - 'Lightbulb Sun' 5 stars

How could one expect the lightest, most melancholic Porcupine Tree work to be in between the fusion of pop and psychedelic work that is 'Stupid Dream' and the fusion of hard rock and psychedelic apparent on 'In Absentia'.

This is the first Porcupine Tree album where I can say every song is a masterpiece in its own special way. Everything nuance seemed to be fixed and all the gaps were filled in, a perfect album. This album also certainly gave-way to the Blackfield side-project. Fans of that band will learn where that sound largely came from.

The CD is dominated by the acoustic guitar; I found that to be the driving force on this disc. The effects are always dominated too, so obviously they are a driving force as well, but never absent anyway. Wilson also experiments with some other instruments like the banjo and there is a trace amount of string sections in the album as well.

The line-up is once again unchanged since the Signify sessions which include Steven Wilson, Colin Edwin, Richard Barbieri and Chris Maitland.

'Lightbulb Sun' does not hesitate on the newfound power and drive of the acoustic guitar on this album. It quickly gives way into the intro and continues along all throughout the verses as well. The chorus is a short but sweet onslaught of some heavy rock.

'How is Your Life Today?' is an acoustic piano driven piece. It is the most psychedelic piece of Porcupine Tree music since 'Up the Downstair'. The piano is just a trippy line repeated throughout with some obscure lyrics and unique vocal placement and harmonies.

'Four Chords That Made a Million' opens up with a distorted/flange effect on the guitar giving a trance- like intro. Later some bongo's and electric violin are thrown in towards the end of the intro, really symbolizing the variety on this album. The verse has some poppish lyrics (hence the song title) and some catchy guitar lines.

'She's Moved On' is a slow moving work for the most part. The lyrics on this one are very sensible. they remind me of quite a lot of people. The intro on the guitar is repeated throughout the verses until the chorus. After the chorus is done, there is a distorted version of the intro including Steve Wilson shouting with distorted vocals, repeating some lines already showcased in the song itself. A standout track, lyrically.

'Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before it is Recycled' opens with a banjo! The acoustic guitar then complements with a solo over the intro line. This is largely repeated until the middle of the song, where there is a vacuum of space. Some voice samples are brought in regarding the Heaven's Gate cult's leader speaking before committing mass suicide. Really cool track because of the variety of instruments (you can hear a flute in the middle as well), a thoughtful concept and the jam towards the end being really interesting.

'Rest Will Flow' is another track that hits me personally. This one is the epitome of beauty put into music form. This song is entirely acoustic for the guitar parts and a violin is added in, which is very prominent in the chorus. Another moving vocal piece done by Wilson.

'Hatesong' is one of the two 'proggiest' songs on the album. Colin Edwin's signature bass leads are prominent throughout the song. The chorus has some heavy guitar work and drums thrown into the mix. The acoustic break comes in with some distorted guitar crashing in. The last 4 minutes of the 8 minute track is just a sweet jam.

'Where We Would Be' is another acoustic ballad. One of the most beautiful Porcupine Tree tracks created. The chord structure is repeated throughout the entire track. An extremely harsh guitar solo is thrown in the middle of it, but that is all the variety in the song. An extremely moving piece.

'Russia on Ice' is probably most people's favorite on this album. I like it quite a bit myself, but am more of a fan of the acoustic ballads. This is yet another psychedelic trek. One of Wilson's most developed that could have honestly been on the first two albums since it has such a similar sound. This track is very open ended, there is a lot of direction in this one that truly makes it feel complete when it is over. A string section is also added in here.

'Feel So Low' is my favorite Porcupine Tree closing track due to the emotional value. A simple clean guitar lick is repeated for the nearly 5 minutes. The only manipulating factors were some carefully chosen effects, synth work and the occasional backing of an acoustic guitar. Perfect way to close the album.

A very angry CD, despite the light instrumentation. There is a ton of variety in this work and beautiful songs. I highly recommend this. It is my second favorite Porcupine Tree album.

ProgBagel | 5/5 |

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