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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover

LIGHTBULB SUN

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.03 | 1342 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ligthbulb Sun is the 6th full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Porcupine Tree. Porcupine Tree drifted one step closer to alternative rock with their last album Stupid Dream (1999) and continue down the same path with Ligthbulb Sun.

The music on Ligthbulb Sun is overall alternative pop/ rock with some progressive elements. The song structures are very much in the vers/ chorus formula with few instrumental excursions. The two longer tracks Hatesong and Russia on Ice are the exceptions with their extented instrumental sections. Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled is also a bit different from the rest of the tracks with its extensive use of samples. The atmosphere on the album is as usual melancholic. I need to make a special mention about Steven Wilson´s vocals on the album as they are simply beautiful. Excellent vocal melodies and beautiful harmony vocals. The production, which is professional and warm, needs a special mention too. This album is simpy a joy to listen to.

Ligthbulb Sun is an excellent album by Porcupine Tree and as you can see in my original review below that´s taken me quite some time to discover. I guess I was fooled by the simple nature of most of the songs on the album, but Ligthbulb Sun is a school example that progressive rock don´t need to be complex to be called progressive rock. This one was a grower for me. 4 stars are fully deserved.

Disclaimer:

The below review was my original review of Ligthbulb Sun, but this is simply one of those cases where repeated listens of an album over a couple of years have won me over. I´ve kept my original review instead of deleting it because it serves as a reminder for me that some albums may not appear to be essential until you´ve listened to them for years.

The original review:

Lightbulb Sun is the sixth studio album from UK progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. Their 1999 album Stupid Dream was a very pleasant and warm album that I enjoyed. It never really excited me beyond being good and pleasant and I was a bit hesitant before purchasing Lightbulb Sun as I had heard that it was a sibling album to Stupid Dream. Don´t get me wrong here. I do like Stupid Dream, but it´s just a bit too average and without edge IMO.

The music on Lightbulb Sun is very pleasant and warm and does remind me a lot about how Stupid Dream sounds. Most of the songs on the album are pretty simple atmospheric rock songs with a progressive touch. The only three songs that stand out are Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled which is different because of the atmospheric samples which are used, Hatesong which is longer than the normal 3-5 minute tracks that this album mainly consists of and therefore has time to develop which is great IMO, and the 13:04 minute long Russia on Ice which has great atmospheric instrumental sections. All songs have nice and memorable song melodies.

The musicianship is excellent and everything works perfectly on the album.

The production is polished and pleasant. Nothing to get offended about.

My conclusion is that Lightbulb Sun is a very similar album to Stupid Dream and I will rate it with 3 stars just as I rated Stupid Dream with 3 stars. There are excellent moments on this album. Particularly the three aforementioned songs, but my general feeling after listening to the album is that it´s a good solid piece of work but not an excellent one. If you like your progressive rock simple, atmospheric and pleasant you should check out Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun. Just don´t expect to be challenged or hear something you haven´t heard before.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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