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Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet CD (album) cover

FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.22 | 1854 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It is with a certain lament that I write this review. Porcupine Tree is probably my favourite band at the moment, and have released some truly stellar work. But this is not one of them. Fear Of A Blank Planet (hereafter shortened to FoABP), was a release that many waited on with bated breath, but for me it failed to deliver - not for a lack of effort, but for an inconsistency that left me feeling cold.

I'll get this off my chest early. I consider the title track to be lyrically and musically stale. I find the lyrics to be facile, boring, and frankly quite terrible. The sound is overly polished for my liking, and lacks a certain lushness that PT usually oozes. Having said this, My Ashes is a lovely track, and develops a better developed sense of depression and introversion. Anesthetize, so often held in high esteem by my contemporaries contains some nice moments, especially from Harrison's well placed fills and flourishes. The outro is also quite nice and echoes PT's lush past. Sentimental is a nice acoustic track, but I would have much preferred Normal to be included instead, the former lacking the interesting instrumentation that the latter develops. This brings me on to Way Out Of Here. I cannot honestly see what people like about this track. Again the lyrics are angsty and leave me feeling emotionally cold, the instrumentation also fails to engage me in the same was as some of the earlier tracks have. Sleep Together is a much more amiable affair, I especially like the pseudo-classical outro, something which finally gives FoABP something to roar about.

In conclusion, FoABP is a very patchy record, that seems to skip between cold, boring instrumentation and lyrical development with warmer and more engaging movements. This album could easily have been a masterpiece, but because it fails to fully engage the listener in the same sense that an album like Up the Downstair or even it's predecessor Deadwing did, it simply lacks a consistent emotional hook. I fully understand what Steven Wilson was trying to achieve here, but this is nothing he hasn't done better before in a more engaging and succinct manner.

Any Colour You Like | 3/5 |

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