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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1523 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first thing I noticed was how beautifully produced these tracks are- as clear and detailed as any recording I've ever heard. Musically they don't seem to stray too far from traditional rock sensibilities, but combine the elements in new ways and introduce subtle new sounds to form alternately hard-hitting and lovely compositions. The title track is heartfelt and full of energy, very accessible and well done. "How Is Your Life Today?" has a spooky psychedelic flavor that never devolves into parody, and "Four Chords" has an almost modern-retro sound not a million miles away from a melding of 90s RUSH and pre-electronica RADIOHEAD. "Shesmovedon" is one of my favorites, shot through with stark beauty- the chorus is especially striking (is that subtle vocoder use? I was reminded slightly of ELO and ALAN PARSONS PROJECT in the harmonies, but only in the most favorable way). "Last Chance to Evacuate..." is pleasantly organic and yet flawlessly climaxes around an interesting audio sample. "The Rest Will Flow" is yearning and anthemic- I'd love to see them close a concert with this one. "Hatesong" could almost be a more-organic NINE INCH NAILS track until the middle section, which is pure modern progressive heavy heaven. "Where We Would Be" surrounds a classic structure with lovely sounds, including a fuzzed-out solo that is one of the instrumental highlights of the album. "Russia on Ice" starts stylistically similar to "Shesmovedon", but eventually ventures out into heavier territory and ultimately into space. Finally, "Feel So Low" establishes a simple, beautiful, cathartic mood, trailing off into a quiet conclusion for both the song and the album. This was my first experience with PORCUPINE TREE, so I cannot yet testify to how this one stacks up against other albums, but I immediately liked the sound and was fairly impressed with the band's abilities. Although I wouldn't have characterized it as a prog album had I not discovered it here, tracks like "Russia On Ice" do betray a bit of FLOYD influence- but with more personal lyrics. Indeed, it is the emotional honesty of the lyrics that characterizes this album, counterbalanced by an almost dispassionate vocal quality which prevents any appearance of melodrama. Why only three stars, if I liked it so much? I can't objectively rate this as essential, or even definitively progressive, but it's definitely one of the better albums of the last five years and money well spent.
James Lee | 3/5 |


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