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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1523 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I have mixed feelings about this album. Had it been the first Porcupine Tree album I ever purchased, I might not have acquired anything by them for quite a while. On the other hand, there a few outstanding compositions that make this one a bit difficult to rate. This album (along with some work before it) marks Porcupine Tree's transition from spacey rock to heavy progressive rock.

"Lightbulb Sun" A melancholic song about a bedridden child, I love the acoustic guitar and subtle piano. The bass and drums are especially good here, and I relish the electric guitar interlude.

"How is Your Life Today?" The piano accompaniment sounds like dark cabaret. The part that stands out about this otherwise uncomplicated song is the complicated vocal layering.

"Four Chords that Made a Million" Stringent guitars, exotic percussion and instrumentation, synthesizer, and one of Porcupine Tree's lamest vocal melodies ever, make up one of the strangest (and worst) songs they've done since the turn of the century.

"Shesmovedon" This one has a solid riff and a great melody during the chorus, retaining a pop structure. The vocal harmonies are well done, but the production is grungy. I recommend getting the redone version that exists as a bonus track on one edition of Deadwing.

"Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before it is Recycled" The music has a slight bluegrass tinge to it at first, although the verses themselves sound more like coffeehouse acoustic rock. The song plays audio footage from a speech of Marshall Applewhite (the leader of the Heaven's Gate cult), which he'd left just before he and thirty-eight members committed mass suicide.

"Rest Will Flow" More acoustic rock, this one features a pleasant string section and some pretty vocal work. While closer to something Collective Soul might have done years earlier, it's a highly enjoyable song.

"Hatesong," Over a deep bass riff, various instruments build for over a minute until Wilson's vocals come in. The lyrics aren't particularly good ("I hope when you hear this, you'll want to sue"), but overall it's not a bad song. The polyrhythm of the heavy riff and the rest of the instruments (including the drums) takes a while to get used to. Colin Edwin's bass harmonics are a nice touch.

"Where We Would Be" The sound of birds from the end of the previous track bleed into this one, and soon there is an acoustic guitar and vocal in the vein of mainstream 1990s acoustic rock. But this song strikes a chord with me personally- my wife painted while I wrote my songs, and I've often reflected on how my image of myself as a youth is not what I am, for better and for worse.

"Russia on Ice" The second to last song is closer to space rock than anything here. It hinges very closely to Pink Floyd, especially with that guitar riff Wilson frequents. The lyrics are mildly depressing. The chorus over the strings is very pleasing, probably the best part of the song. There is some much heavier music later, however, interspersed with spacey segments that highlight the drumming.

"Feel So Low" The final song is a soft but sad one, about unrequited love. The strings make a reappearance. Again, it reminds me of Collective Soul.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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