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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.66 | 1444 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
1 stars Perhaps if we stop calling Porcupine Tree progressive rock, they will once again make progressive rock.

For me, this album completes the transition that most people would probably argue started with Stupid Dream. (Personally, I feel this trend started slightly on Deadwing, and has only gotten worse from there.) This trend I'm speaking of is moving away from progressive music, to music much more in the alternative rock/indie/rock-pop scene. For me, Deadwing hinted at it, Fear Of A Blank Planet greeted it warmly, and now The Incident is soaking in it. It really is a shame for my ears. I hope this is just an experiment for Wilson and will not become a normal path for Porcupine Tree. Hopefully they will embrace the very escense of progressive rock and progressive to a higher level of music.

I suppose I should preface this review with two facts. One, I am a fan of this band. I am a fan of Steve Wilson and I think he can do amazing things and write very intelligent lyrics (and music) when he wants to. There are plenty of examples from the bands back catalogue, as well as from Wilson's recent solo album. Two, I do not like pop music. I do not like indie music. I find these genres too boring and uninteresting to take enjoyment out of them (aside from the occasional song). If you like pop/pop-rock/indie music then you will probably be able to soak in much more enjoyment out of this album then I have.

On to the disc. Initially I was very excited to hear the Tree was going to release a fifty-five minute song, especially after the disappointing FOABB. I thought this would be a return to form. Sadly not. First of all, its not really a fifty-five minute song, but fourteen individual songs stuck together with some vague connections between them. This would have been alright if the music was anywhere near enjoyable. Musically this album is very uninspired. Diminished atmosphere, very limited, and much more in the pop/indie direction than ever before. Lyrically this album is also a bust as the lyrics are even more juvenile than FOABB and aren't anywhere near the sophisticated and intelligent melancholy lyrics that Wilson is so adept at writing. There are a couple of somewhat interesting instrumental breaks occasionally thrown in, but certainly not enough to keep interest. The second disc is better, but no where near great. The music feels very flat and unproductive. Similar to the first disc, there are flickers (pun!) of enjoyment, but they are too fleeting. Another complaint I have is the sound quality. I was expecting excellence in this realm as well, being Mr. Wilson seems to be an audiophile. Perhaps its because I don't have the latest in 5.1 surround sound stereo or anything nearly that upscale in terms of listening equipment, so perhaps the sound quality is actually better, but I shall never know. (Perhaps a plus for this album ;-))

All in all, this album was a disappointment to say the least. Its a shame to hear quality musicians produce such banal music. I have yet to use a one star rating, but am afraid I must here. I am still a fan of this band, if only for their back catalogue and the hope that they have fully explored this world of music and are ready to move on (or back) to better things. Fans of pop/indie music will probably enjoy this. Fans of the old atmospheric Porcupine Tree probably will not. Sad but true, the biggest disappointment of 2009 to be sure (and I certainly hope it doesn't win the title for collab album of the year). One star.

Man With Hat | 1/5 |


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