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

THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.08 | 1003 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Porcupine Tree's 1995 album The Sky Moves Sideways is an album that typifies and fully explores their space rock roots and ideas. This album, bookended by two largely extended pieces of music that take the listener to another world, is probably the best album Porcupine Tree has released thus far, and it may be one of the best albums of the 90's at that. Steven Wilson has a knack for creating engaging and exciting music, and this album is no different. From the ethereal and other-worldly The Sky Moves Sideways to the hard rocking riffing of Dislocated Day, this album is an eclectic and involved album throughout the entire journey. The drums are dynamic and are well placed, the bass is thumping and moves along nicely with the drums and other instruments. The keyboards are lush and create soothing atmospheres to lift the listener off of their feet, and the guitar is varied and the effects and emotions that are conveyed are just utterly superb.

The album opens with The Sky Moves Sideways Phase I, which essentially to any fan of Pink Floyd will remind them of Shine on You Crazy Diamond with a long synth based orchestration that is soothing to the ear and is a great introduction. Soon, gentle and very phased guitar chords are played over a steady bass/drum beat for the next few minutes. Steven Wilson's vocals on this track are very echoey and very other-worldly. The extended outro has very electronic overtones, and the flute solo fits very well over that. In short, this is 18 minutes of progressive nirvana. Dislocated Day starts off as a gentle piece but turns into an all out rocker that shows the definite future base of Porcupine Tree's sound with powerful riffs and strong keyboard and guitar interplay.

Dislocated Day is an acoustic based piece that has soft and gentle vocals as well as a definite Floydian feel to it. It's the softest piece on the album and it fits very well as the middle piece. Prepare Yourself was intended as a short interlude that preceded the extended instrumental piece Moonloop, but Moonloop didn't make it onto the album. It's a short little guitar solo that in the context of the album acts as a prelude to The Sky Moves Sideways Phase II. Now the 16 minute instrumental (except one questionable sequence when a celestial sounding voice) has a terrific jam feel to it, with rocking bass, thumping drums, spacey and well timed keyboards, and guitar solo after guitar solo. Wilson is superb on this song, with strong guitar sections that add a layer of dissonance to the mix at one point. The track ends essentially as it began with celestial and spacey keyboards giving it the final goodbye.

In the end, this is my favorite Porcupine Tree album. The "modern Pink Floyd" have struck a chord and made their name with the space rock fanatics with this album. There are no weak tracks, no meager pieces of filler in a feeble effort to fill more space on the album. Every song here is well arranged, well performed, and most importantly, well written. I recommend any fan of Pink Floyd in the slightest bit get this album immediately to hear a modern take on that classic sound. Now, this album isn't just a rip-off, though, it's also a really creative and original sounding album as well. Recommended to all. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |

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