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Porcupine Tree - Deadwing CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.11 | 1983 ratings

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4 stars I bought this album whilst on holiday in America in September. So I have had just over a month to get used to it. (I also bought some other cds, so it has had to take its turn!) The more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. Porcupine Tree are, to me, one of the best of the modern groups. (In fact, along with The Flower Kings, they are my favourite of the newer generation.) However, I have always enjoyed their earlier work more than their latest, and In Absentia, whilst still being enjoyable, was a little too heavy in parts for me, a little too metal. Deadwing is closer to that album than any other PT album I have heard (though I have to say I don't possess their two 'middle period' albums yet, Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Son). 'Deadwing' itself opens the album in fine style, and you can't mistake the PT sound for anything else here. A mid paced song, it has some nice guitar from Wilson, but I do have to say the 'guest musician' here, Adrian Belew, is not really to my taste, (but then I have never been a Crimson fan), and his solo is, well, so so! But the song is decent, if not brilliant. 'Shallow' is one of those 'little too heavy' tracks imo. Again, not a bad song, but not really outstanding. It reminds me of 'Strip The Soul' off In Absentia, which was probably my least favourite track on that album. Both seem to me to be a bit disjointed and lacking a strong melody, but they are still recognisably PT. I certainly wouldn't skip over them. 'Lazarus' is more like it! A nice, almost gentle melody, with wonderful piano (not sure if this is played by Barbieri or Wilson but it's very well played!) The trademark dreamy vocals of Wilson are well to the fore here, and the song is altogether nicely executed. One of the highlights. Unfortunately, 'Halo' is again a heavier piece, though I prefer it to 'Shallow'. Again, Belew contributes, but I can ignore that! Another track not too far away from the sound of 'Strip The Soul'. Listenable though. From here onwards, the album takes an upwards turn, and the rest of it is magnificent. 'Arriving Somewhere' is the longest piece on the disc, and I suspect a lot of PT fans will say it's their favourite track here. It has all the classic PT sounds, excellent bass, nice keyboards, subtle guitar from Wilson and another excellent melody. Mid paced, it drives along nicely, wrapped in an engaging atmosphere. 'Mellotron Scratch' is another good one. The guitar here is spikier, but effective, and there is more nice bass work, too. The second half of the song changes into a slightly harder style, with driving drumming. Very good. 'Open Car' is also good, with a powerful keyboard-backed chorus and fits in beautifully with the album's overall feel. 'Start Of Something Beautiful' is another future classic, with, classic PT lyrics, a slightly disturbed verse and another excellent chorus. Again, magificent keyboards and guitar here. 'Glass Arm Shattering' brings the album to a superb end. This track could have sat comfortably on 'Up The Downstair' quite easily, or even on 'Signify'. It builds slowly, with guitars rising through the dark, keyboards creating more dreamscapes, and a lovely, atmospheric vocal from Wilson. Quite repetitive, it is nevertheless, almost hypnotic, and the chorus changes the song just in time, with echoey, multi-layered vocals. Again, wonderful stuff! For some reason, there is a bonus track about four and a half minutes after 'Glass Arm' finishes. This is a track off an earlier album, I think, Lightbulb Son. I have heard the song before, but I am not sure if this is a different version or not. 'She's Moved On' is another typical PT song, with nice keyboards and a very catchy chorus, finishing with some blistering guitar work from Wilson. All in all, another excellent effort from PT, and a worthy addition to any collection. Traces of space rock, metal, and Floydian style ballads should cater to most tastes. Four stars.
chessman | 4/5 |


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