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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover

THE INCIDENT

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 1169 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars Well, I'm quite glad I waited as long as I have to write my thoughts on this album.

My first impression was one of mild interest. This slowly turned into a lack of interest, and I shelved the album for a month or so. However, upon listening to it over the past few weeks, it has revealed itself to me as a decent, if flawed album.

First off, this is not an epic by any stretch. It is a pretty cohesive concept album though, at least musically. I think of it more like The Wall or The Lamb in terms of structure (though certainly not in terms of content). I still feel like some of the shorter, connecting pieces should have been more fleshed out as whole songs, but on the other hand they all work pretty well as interludes.

As far as actual songs, The Blind House, The Incident, Time Flies, Octane Twisted, and especially I Drive The Hearse are all excellent PTree tracks. These did not reveal themselves instantly to me (except Time Flies, which appealed to me right away because of it's blatant Pink Floyd homage), but with repeated listens I've come to realize they are pretty much typical PTree material with good atmosphere and decent melody. The melodies are there on this album, but they are for the most part not as immediate as many previous albums. Though I Drive The Hearse is as good as anything Wilson has ever written for the band. The controversial I Draw the Line has also grown on me, but I still find the chorus to be a bit irritating and unnecessarily "indie" in nature. Like something from REM or even Green Day. Just not my thing, though I think ultimately Wilson did a decent job juxtaposing the two very different aspects of the song. It just bugs me that the verses are so appealing and the chorus so unappealing.

The short tracks are all good to my ears, but again, I always find myself wishing they were fleshed out as songs. The exception is the opening track (and the reprise later in the album) and The Yellow Windows of the Evening Train. The former is a great opening for the album (though seems kind of weak for a recurring motif, but I like it anyway), the latter a wonderful intro for the Floyd tune. Times Flies is a blatant homage to Floyd, and Wilson has not pretended otherwise. He's openly admitted that he wrote the parts to be as close to parts from the Animals album as possible without being so close as to get sued. In that sense, I can appreciate the song and I think he did a wonderful job with it. Very much a return to the Sky Moves Sideways album (which was itself a more blatant homage to Floyd, in my opinion.....and I love that album as well).

I'm a little annoyed at Wilson for not just putting the tracks on the second CD on to the first. He could have easily separated them from The Incident by putting a several minute gap between them or something. As it is, it seems like a waste of plastic to separate them. However, like most people I got the album for $10, so it's not such a big deal to me really. I think the songs on the second CD are all quite good, even Black Dalia, and I'm very glad to have them. Remember Me Lover is classic PTree, and Bonnie The Cat, which I don't think is the best song on the CD by any stretch, is still an enjoyable bass and drums exposition (Harrison really shows us his stuff on this one!).

Overall then, I find this far better than the previous album, Fear Of A Blank Planet. But compared to the 4 albums before that, I find it doesn't measure up nearly as well. On the whole I give it a 3, perhaps a bit higher. It is much better than FOABP, which I also gave 3 stars to, but it certainly isn't up to the level of Deadwing which I gave 4 stars to. In any case, I recommend giving this many listens, as I think people with too high expectations are missing out on a pretty darn good album. This is essential for PTree fans, but people newer to the band would do better to start with In Absentia or Lightbulb Sun. Just keep in mind that this band is really not progressive in any sense of the word.

infandous | 3/5 |

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