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Porcupine Tree - Signify CD (album) cover

SIGNIFY

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.80 | 881 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Now it seems I chose today as my "let's review all my 5-star albums" day....

There's unjustice in this earth... there's unfairness in music... there's Signify by Porcupine Tree not getting the recognition it deserves as this band's best album.

After the Pink Floyd-spacey-dance era from Up the Downstair up till The Sky moves Sideways (On the sunday of life just defies comparison to anything...it's great but too weird), and before the more song-oriented, more british-poppy albums like Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun (both GREAT by the way), and LOOONG before today's dark- rocking, heavy-metal-meets-tool-meets-pinkfloyd of In Absentia and Deadwing, there was a transitional album that got it ALL... yes, for some this is a problem, for some it means the album doesn't quite belong neither here nor there, for some it feels incomplete, or too much of a mixture... for me, it's the perfect mix, it's the result of the evolution from one of the world's best bands (better said, one-man-bands....Steven Wilson is just a genius).... In this album Porcupine Tree sound like.....Porcupine Tree. (there are references to King Crimson...whoever has heard In the Court of the Crimson king can confirm that that PIECE OF ART influenced Steven Wilson's works). Yes, there may be a couple of fillers here, but when you listen to the whole album from beginning to end, IT WORKS. Even those fillers: they work.

Another thing that helps matters it's the level of musicianship here: starting with main creator Steven Wilson who's a great guitar player, highly original above all, and a good, at times outstanding singer (his voice fits the music SO well).... Barbieri on Keyboards: he does his job, he doesn't shine, he's just there to provide the music with some of prog's best atmospheric sounds; and the rhythmic section: for me, this side of Reingold and Lillequist from the Flower Kings, Maitland and Edwin were THE best rhythmic section of the 90's and 00's. too bad Maitland is gone but Gavin Harrison is AMAZING, too! What a groove you get from this guys! What a feeling of looseness...pure narcotics...

Bornlivedie (?/10= not applicable) This noise, this electronic thing is PART of PT's sound....it's only LOGICAL that the album starts like this..

Signify (8/10), an amazing, paranoia-inducing track, a hard riff in straight-forward tempo, pure electronic wonder....a simple, distorted solo by Wilson gives atmosphere and groove....Very good. It forecasts the future of this band in In Absentia...

The Sleep of no dreaming (9/10) quiet chords in keyboards set the dreamy mood for this track....Wilson opium-evoking voice is so soft here...this song makes you want to fly...low. If you know what I'm saying.

Pagan (?/10 = N/A), another transitional bit...again, IT''S ATMOSPHERIC MUSIC....it's an album...this track is neccessary for the nex one to have greater impact (and man it does!)

Waiting - Phase 1 (10/10) superb, marvelous...after that industrial, empty-noman's- land noise, some great acoustic chords and a relentless bass drum beat make for an absolutely peaceful moment, if a troubled peace at that; for this is not happy peace...it's despair peace...it's apathy's peace...it's narcotic peace...it's suicidal peace....when the spectacular, simple, driving bass line appears, you just feel you have to get on your feet and... wait. Yes, you can't dance to this, you can tap your feet, but only....waiting. The chorus is great, SUPERB. FLAWLESS (only flaw: it should last 10 minutes).

Waiting - Phase 2 (9/10) pure atmospheric, ambience noise and rhythm...yes, musical substance maybe there's not that much...but It's perfect for the album...IT's WHAT THIS MUSIC IS ABOUT.... Why has everything to be so serious, so "deep"? I don't get why many people love OZric Tentacles yet say this is "too ambience"...???? this is aport of an album, an album with contrasts, with moments of rock, moments of peace, and, yes, moments of pure relaxation.... a whole album made of this kind of tracks, now that I would object...but an album with rock songs along with tracks like this....BRING it to me baby. Phase One's bass line reappears here, if altered.

Sever (10/10), another hard-rock-prog-meets-electronica track, Wilson echoed, distorted vocals cry in desperation again a nerve-breaking rhythm... man do Matiland and Edwin know their stuff! A great, great chorus makes this song the other highlight of the album.

Idiot Prayer (9/10) pure electronic ambience up to the middle section, when dance- techno-club Porcupine Tree's makes his appearance! Over the dance rhythm, the guitar and keyboards dance (pun intended) gracefully....Now this is what I said in this album we get it all! We get hard- rock-PT, we get narcotic-PT, we get Floyd-PT, we get Crimson-PT...and here club-PT....WE GET PT.

Every Home is wired (9/10), this one sounds like Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun...dreamy brit-rock-pop-meets-prog-meets-narcotics.... just dreamy keyboards under echoing voices..... again, and I may sound repetitive: THIS ALBUM HAS IT ALL.

10. Intermediate Jesus (7/10), the lesser track in the album, the most "no-substance" music in the disc, it actually sounds like it was a jam by PT that got included in the album (too close to the tracks in Metanoia this one is).... good playing anyway, but mostly improvisational, jam-quality stuff... ONLY near-filler here... but even this one serves its purpose in this amazing album. It sounds like the equivalent to elevator music, but the elevator in a opium-den, not an office building.

"Light Mass Prayers" (8/10), this one is also just atmospheric, ambiance noise, mostly (exclusively) in keyboards.... but again, maybe I'm wrong but when you listen to the album as a whole, IT WORKS.

Dark Matter (10/10), what a gorgeous song, so dreamy, so waking-sleep-inducing.... Wilson's voice is like musical drugs....a great, floydian-chorus....this tracks closes the album in such a grand manner....

After you listen to this album, you just want to dream.... not to sleep, but to dream...awake if possible.

Another thing you want to do after listening to this album is.... pressing REPEAT WHOLE DISC.... now that's the sign of good music.

All Porcupine Tree's faces in one marvelous opus...get it....GET IT....unless you don;t like dark, moody, narcotic music...then this is not for you...but for most everybody else, I'll suggest you, go buy it,

AND PRESS REPEAT.

The T | 5/5 |

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