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Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1287 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Closer to 3.5 stars, as this inconsistent homage to Pink Floyd does share moments of greatness.

What Is it? A tribute to Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here era) with the added element of occasional electronica. Songs are even lengthier than the preceding album, with Sky Moves Sideways being half an hour long. Space rock now dominates Porcupine Tree's sound, but some elements of hard rock, psychedelia, and electronica linger.

Voice (3 stars) ? Vocals are a very small component to the album. Steven Wilson's voice remains subdued and somewhat remarkable. However, his sense of melody continues to improve while the lyrics make a better fit to the music. The best piece if judged by its vocals is 'Stars Die'. On the other hand, 'Dislocated Day' repeats the same mistakes as Radioactive Toy with uninteresting and unmelodic whisper-singing.

Sound (3.5 stars) ? Sound production remains inconsistent, with songs ranging from demo-like (Dislocated Day or Sky Moves Sideways 2) to perfect sound engineering (Moonloop). With the greater emphasis on longer spacey compositions, the instrumentation is scarcer, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the first 10 or so minutes of 'Moonloop', despite being a no more than an extended relaxed jam, has an irresistible hypnotic mood. The same can be said about the brief mood piece 'Prepare Yourself' and the rhythmless sections of the title track. There are also two shorter tracks that are acoustic, low-key, and minimalistic. However, this minimalism does not always work, with a good portion of the title track meandering with mid-paced beats.

When the music does pick up in intensity, the album does not fare as well. Yes, the lively and lengthy instrumental on the first part of the title track is an outstanding mix of electronica and rock with some amazing bass lines. The band shines rocking out at the end of Moonloop. However, in many other cases, it is the album's weakness. For some unexplained reason, the more intense sections have sound production issues with fuzzy guitars and sometimes even drum machines. This is most noticeable with 'Dislocated Day'and 'Sky Moves Sideways 2'.

Song (3.5 stars) ? The songwriting is frustrating due to inconsistency between and within songs. First, let's get 'Dislocated Day' out of the way ? a song that strongly resembles the unspectacular 'Radioactive Toy' and shares all its weaknesses about repetitiveness, whisper-talking, and poor production values (Coma Divine tried a different approach to great success). The album has two ballads that leave a good impression, particularly 'Stars Die'. The relaxed atmosphere to most of 'Moonloop' is mostly attributed to a great jam, but the instrumentation has subtle transitions shaping the piece. And then you have the title track which meanders for 5 minutes before the proper song starts (good melodies) then by minute 8 wakes you up with a masterful multi-part dynamic instrumental that blends various genres, and fades out to gorgeous sleepy music. Part 2 continues nicely with ambient synth music, then ruins the vibe with a poorly introduced rock piece with drum-machines and cheap-sounding guitar tones and never recovers despite the nice guitar soloing at the end.

Key Tracks: Sky Moves Sideways Part 1, Stars Die, Prepare Yourself, Moonloop

Zitro | 3/5 |


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