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Porcupine Tree - Up the Downstair CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.89 | 1045 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album is from the psychadelic era of Porcupine Tree, back when Porcupine Tree sounded like a trippier and heavier version of Pink Floyd. This is their second album from that era, and also my favorite of the three. While TSMS has more of an album feel and overall is a better album...this one is just more enjoyable. TSMS focused on layering tons of sounds and producing a dreamy, ethereal effect while playing some good music in the background. It succeeded greatly, and likely would appeal to any Pink Floyd fan, but like some Pink Floyd I find it a bit boring. This is just more enjoyable.

The two main pieces here are Burning Sky and the title track, clocking in at over 10 minutes. Both are completely instrumental, besides some female speaking on the title track and breathing on Burning Sky. The title track focuses on more of the things that TSMS did so well, layering and building a psychedelic, albeit with slightly dark mood. Burning Sky is more of a long jam with a psychedelic chill-out section in the middle that somehow keeps oyu interested. It really shows how talented Steve Wilson is.

Fadeaway and Always Never are very similar in structure as well. Both pieces are laid back Pink Floyd-ish songs, with some good singing by Wilson and great layering as usual. Great relaxing pieces. Not as memorable is say Even Less, which rocks, but great nonetheless. These tracks would get a 4/5 each. Synthesia is a rather bland pop song that still manages to be moderately entertaining, but it's not nearly as good as the rest of the album. Small Fish is a small lead-in track with nice vocals as usual to Burning Sky, and it serves its purpose perfectly. Nice track, definitely not skip-button worthy. The last track worth noting is Not Beautiful Anymore, which a great jam with a nice funk feel going on. Short fun instrumental, killer drumming too.

The other three tracks, all the < 1 minute tracks, are basically throwaway psychedelic burts to keep that feel of trippiness intact all throughout.

Overall, this album an excellent addition to any prog collection and a must-have for fans of Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd...or simply anyone fond of atmospheres that really build a dark, psychedelic atmosphere or something of that nature. Highly recommended, 4/5.

FishyMonkey | 4/5 |


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