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Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream CD (album) cover

STUPID DREAM

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.99 | 987 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

shyman
5 stars If "Signify" was a shaking but yet enjoyable album which served as a transition between two eras, "Stupid Dream" is now a clear example of the new (and current, by the way) musical stage that now Wilson and his mates decided to emphasize in their musical work

This album, along with most of the following ones, has received severe critics, claiming that PT had left their Psychedelic and spacey progressive roots for something that could be atributed to any 'normal' band of today. I must say that I'm sorry but I profoundly disagree, because a work of this complexity is not something that is within the reach of anyone. The fact that PT has substituted the lengthy, kind of ambient pseudo-instrumental tracks for hard-rock, more guitar based work doesn't imply that they have lost their progressive essence. You can't expect Wilson (and now his companions) to be doing always the same.

Getting in a more deep analysis of this record, we can appreciate, as I mentioned before, that the songs we can listen on this album are more entitled to the musical work of a whole rock band, with every classic instrument like guitar, bass, drums, piano, synth, etc properly assembled for our enjoyment. Wilson has now more vocal comminment than in previous efforts (the man himself once mentioned that), so the results are something to take into account.

"Even Less" starts almost in a silent manner, with the typical sound of voices (laughter in this case) followed with a balanced and solitary guitar riff for some seconds. After that, a powerful and meaningful song is presented to us, being one of the hard rock anthems that PT have provided in recent albums. "Piano Lessons" shows some of this 'straightforward' spirit that maybe some people don't like. However, the song is very well performed, refreshing and it is something worthy to listen the guitar work here."Stupid Dream" is a short spacey (one of the few touchs left now) prelude to "Pure Narcotic", another precious ballad that shares some similarities with "Waiting (Phase One)". "Slave Called Shiver" mixes a piercing bass sound with a switching piano and curious percussion arrangements and strong guitar riffs. Pay attention to the lyrics, they are also remarkable. "Don't hate me" is a quite melancholic piece, probably one the weakest of the album but still an enjoyable one. "This is no rehersal" introduce us to a new kind of track that PT like to put in their recent albums. These tracks are one in which we have passages of slow or calm musical work mixed with occasional speedy hard rock seconds that give such an amazing and contrasted result ("Blackest eyes", from "In Absentia" is another good example). "Baby Dream in Cellophane" is an atmospheric, subtle and delicious song, with Spanish guitars and kind of Garfunkel- esque vocals that prove how a complete vocalist is Steve Wilson (where is the conventional music here? Please someone tell me). "Stranger by the minute" starts with a festive guitar riff, followed with more complex guitar textures, with Wilson voice lyrics completing another good song. "A smart kid" starts with a low tone again to provide us with another calm, sensitive and elegant song, again with Spanish guitar, a perfect partner for piano and Wilson vocals. "Tinto Brass" rescues some psychedelia that some may have been missing. Probably this song is one of those which remind us the most to the previous era (pay attention to the flute). It starts with the known psychedelic elements, mixed with the guitar hard rock material present on the album (note also some sounds previously listened). "Stop Swimming" is the other nearly- instrumental piece of the album, which serves as a perferct farewell.

Then, I hope this review serves to convince those skeptical people who think PT latter albums are not worth it. I think they are, and pretty much.

shyman | 5/5 |

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