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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover

LIGHTBULB SUN

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.01 | 1112 ratings

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PinkPangolin
5 stars I'm not rating this 5 stars because of its progressiveness, or its heavy progness or its spaceyness or whatever-you-want definition-ness - I think it's a masterpiece simply because I love it from start to finish and that it is Porcupine tree and that is what it is. Period (as the Americans would say!)

This is a really really good album with no faults - graceful, melodic (to a fantastic level), rocky (in places). It has Steve Wilson's very best guitar solos on it. I love the use of the banjo and harp - they should use these more!!! It moves you to goose-pimples.

One warning - If you are a new Metal-head fan of PT with their latest releases (which I also love even more by the way), then this may well not be for you. There is a lot of Alternative/ psychedelic pop music in this album - infact at least 5 of the songs have a definite pop feel. Sorry if some find it offensive to use the word pop - but I don't care - these songs are the very best pop could possibly be. The Beatles would have been proud of these songs. I can tell maybe that the record company were trying to sell PT - judging by the songs and the slightly-cheesy photos of the band (they've left this behind now thank goodness) - it failed to sell, which is very sad, as they deserved enormous success on the merit of these songs - they were much better pop songs than those in the charts at the turn of the Millenium.

However, in reality - good as this album is - it was a good thing for us fans - as it doesn't cost us £50 to see them live crammed into the back of some super-stadium. You can still get close. Also it's a good thing - good as this album was - because it forced a change in direction (also affected by the introduction of Gavin Harrison) - and gave us In Absentia, Deadwing and FOABP - mindblowingly awesome albums -which instead are giving the band at least some success now.

I think the pop approach was good while it lasted (including Stupid Dream), but it was enough and more of it would have been too much. The heavier rockier PT of now is better really. If you want the more poppy style of SW's music then I suppose try Blackfield.

I love Lightbulb Sun track, especially when played live - one of their best ever tracks. The solo at the end of Shesmovedon is one of the best moments of PT music ever. And they do have two very proggy tracks in Hatesong - classic rock (with a Led Zeppelin feel), and Russia On Ice (one of my favourite PT tracks in which you can hear the beginnings of their heavier style that was to develop further in In Absentia and beyond...) And as for The Last Chance to Evacuate.... - a very moving track with a superb melody, although I actually prefer the live version on Warzawa as the I can't hear the liquid-rock guitar solo at the end on the studio version (a bit of a flash-back to Voyage 34 here)

I know that SW will hate me for this, but I think this album is where they sounded most like Pink Floyd. I know, I know I know - please stop comparing us with Pink Floyd!! Don't worry, Porcupine Tree are not living in the shadow of PF - I don't believe that at all - Porcupine Tree is Porcupine Tree - period.

Please forgive me, SW - it's just that when you love Pink Floyd and have played all their albums too too much, you are just desperate for there to be another modern band who sound a little like them. Please treat this as a compliment - there simply are not any other bands who are remotely as good as Pink Floyd except Porcupine Tree. I guess it's just wishful thinking, I suppose... Anyway how could it be bad to be compared to the coolest band of all time, indeed (I never thought I would ever say this) I'm beginning to think Porcupine Tree are better! NO - Porcupine Tree ARE THEIR OWN BAND AND THEY DO NOT NOT LIVE IN THE SHADOW OF PINK FLOYD - I understand that it is offensive to say that (I appreciate SW's feelings on this annoying comparison)

But... Just listen to the last 2 minutes of Hatesong and it has a feel of Money. The end of Feel so Low has an obscured by Clouds lushness to it. it's beautiful (sorry). The beginning of Where we would be has High Hopes undertones

A masterpiece - but then Porcupine Tree were to follow this with even better triple masterpieces in which they really do no longer sound like Pink Floyd. Not for the Metal-head fans though (unless they listen to more beautiful music in secret!)

PinkPangolin | 5/5 |

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