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


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1230 ratings

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4 stars My first experience of Porcupine Tree and it's a good one. I'm reviewing the double digipack version with the following track listing:

Disc 1: Sky Moves Sideways (Part1) Dislocated Day The Moon Touches your Shoulder Prepare Yourself Sky Moves Sideways (II)

Disc 2: Sky Moves Sideways (Alternate Version) Stars Die Moonloop (Inprovisation) Moonloop (Coda)

I've read reviews making analogies between this album and the 'Floyd and I can understand why - "The Sky Moves Sideways" which bookends the first disc, in presumably its original version, has some similarities at least in structure with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", and features some Gilmour-like guitar work on it from the project's creator, Steve Wilson. It's a dreamy, atmospheric track that was originally intended to stretch over the length of an entire (single) disc. My only criticism - which perhaps arises from the fact it is very much the work of one man - is that a few of the ideas on the title track might have got rejected as being too thin in a group project. It doesn't quite match the depth of some of the great prog epics, like the aforesaid "Shine On". But I'm being churlish. Overall it has a wonderful effect on this listener. It's well worth listening to on headphones, in the dark with nothing to distract your imagination.

The alternate version to my mind adds little to the album, other than combining both parts into a continuous piece of music - which you could easily do anyway with the aid of your stereo remote control. The differences between the alternate and the original only go to show - as with so many alternate versions - why the original ended up on the final pressing. The alternate version is not as far as I can tell, the "Director's Cut".

There are three shorter tracks with vocals; "Dislocated Day" has a great riff and a clever ending; "Stars Die" is a dream like track that leads into the excellent "Moonloop (Improvisation)", a long instrumental track; and the wonderful "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder" - a beautiful song title, with sublime lyrics and a wonderful melody; the guitar break builds and builds but the track ends too soon, and too abruptly. More could have been made of this.

It's been a good first encounter for me with Steve Wilson and Porcupine Tree. He's clearly a talented guy. I look forward to hearing more of PT.

Phil | 4/5 |


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