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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1523 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars If someone had asked me in the year 2000 whether I liked progressive rock, I would have had a hard time answering that without requiring what that person exactly meant with 'progressive rock'. Around that time the combination of those two words had left a sour taste in my mouth due to the deplorable state the classic bands had been in for decades. Also, a huge amount of faceless neo-prog and prog-metal bands had somehow managed to change the meaning of the word 'progressive' into 'creative standstill'.

But then in 2001 I stumbled upon the 3 most amazing songs that I had heard in years: Katatonia's Dispossession, Opeth's Blackwater Park and Porcupine Tree's Hatesong. I was nailed to the ground. I sure hadn't seen that one coming.

Lightbulb Sun was music from a band that also shied away from the label 'progressive' but that was spot on about the essence of progressive rock to me: original, creative, demanding and touching rock music that tried something else each time you looked and that kept developing from album to album. Music that wasn't about stale technical wizardry but about fusing a vast scope of influences into something entirely new, unique and of high musical standards. A mix of style and substance, of high-quality music and pop's emotional sensibilities. So there you have it, the essence of the phenomena called prog for me.

Given that Hatesong and Lightbulb Sun were my introduction to Porcupine Tree, they hold a very special place in my heart. And even though not all tracks are equally deserving, the mix of extended prog rock pieces with tasty ballads blends together very nicely into a diverse and well-balanced album. Lightbulb Sun also has the most personal and emotional bite of any Porcupine Tree album and it is amazingly diverse. With Russia On Ice and Last Chance the album has two obvious contenders for any space-rock best-off compilation. Shesmovedon and Four Chords are great pop tunes and with Where We Would Be and especially Feel So Low the album has moving sad songs like only Wilson can pen them. Only The Rest Will Flow is a bit too sweet for me but still it has its place on the album.

It's hard to give an objective assessment of this album. I'm sure you know the feeling, no one can neutralize the overwhelming impression left by the first album you heard from your favourite bands. It's a solid 4 stars that I have a very personal affection for.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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