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Porcupine Tree - XM  CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.68 | 138 ratings

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2 stars Ever since In Absentia, Porcupine Tree has been releasing various live albums. Virtually all of those are classy products, professionally executed and carefully mastered. As to their relavance for non-fans, the quality varies though.

XM is remarkable for being recorded live in the Satellite Radio Performance studio without audience. With the exception of Gravity Eyelids that received a slightly different vocal for the chorus, the renditions here don't differ an inch from the studio versions. They're a bit rougher in sound but not specifically heavier or more energetic.

XM is the first PT recording to feature new live recruit John Wesley. That's why I looked with interest to the songs from Stupid Dream, the only album featured here next to In Absentia. But unlike later live albums such as Anesthetize, John Wesley hardly participates here on these pre-In Absentia songs. Only Tinto Brass offers something to look forward to due to some slightly re-arranged guitar parts and synths.

Decent, but hardly recommendable to anyone but the hard-core fanbase. Counting myself to that gang, I'd still suggest the countless studio EPs and rarities that feature some original material over the carbon-copy live versions compiled here.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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