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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1437 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3.9 Stars in Prog rock standards

Accessibility rating: 9/10

An excellent accessible album that increases enjoyment after each listen as more details are grasped. Lightbulb Sun is an album where the band focused mainly on songwriting as opposed to extended atmospherics and spacey jams from their Sky Moves Sideways/Signify phase. This may be a good or bad thing, depending on your taste of music. Personally, I do not see it as either a good nor bad move by the band as I enjoy this style equally the same. Do not think that by accessible Im saying that Porcupine Tree turned uncreative. Creativity is still present, certainly more than in Sky Moves Sideways which sounds like a clone of Pink Floyd's masterpiece "Wish you Were Here" at times. Instrumentation and musical ideas are still explorative in nature and it is easy to see that Porcupine Tree is not selling out, instead, it is exploring a new sound, somewhat heavier in nature, and more focused on melodies.

The opener and title track is a clear example of what I mean. This song could be a great radio hit as it is catchy, accessible, and its guitar riffs could draw alternative rock and heavy metal fans while the impressive songwriting is just interesting to any music fan. She's Moved On is a better example of this, a wonderful rock/pop tune with irresistible melodies, simplistic beauty, and one of Porcupine Tree's best guitar solos. Meanwhile, you can also get accessibility from the other side of the specrum: laid back and relaxing songs such as "Feel so Low", "Where We Would Be", and "Rest Will Flow" , drenched in mellotron and acoustic guitars. Where We Would Be 's guitar playing is uncomfortably similar to Renaissance's "Midas Man." LightBulb Sun also has inventive and unorthodox songwriting, showcased in Last Chance to Evacuate ... which is one of the most interesting compositions in this album as a result of its unique sound and great use of acoustic guitars, especially in minute 2. How is Your Life Today , on the other hand, relies on musical simplicity and vocal harmonies, yet it is not really a conventional song at all.

For diehard fans of progressive rock, I doubt Hatesong and Russia on Ice will disappoint! Hatesong is possibly the heaviest Porcupine Tree song of all times, featuring a mindblowing and skull crushing guitar riff in the middle, plenty of mellotron, great vocal melodies, excellent use of the bass guitar for the rest of the song. Russia On Ice is longer than 10 minutes and will please any fan of their album Signify. It goes back to the wonderful spacy, extended, and creative music that Signify brought and the inventive style of bass playing in there. The album is by no any means flawless though. There is a song that does not really work in my opinion: Four Chords That Made a Million . I dont know if this song is a parody because it really sounds quite silly and uncomfortable. You really got simple four chords, played like an untalented punk song would do. The vocal melodies and performances are unimaginative and mediocre at best, being at their worst on the verses. Also, the main guitar riff has quite an unusual tone that I do not like. Not to forget, I do not now what Steven Wilson was thinking by allowing the drummer to use that tribal style of percussion at the beginning because it is realy out of place.

Song Ratings for number freaks like me:

1. Lightbulb Sun (8.5/10)

2. How Is Your Life Today ? (6.5/10)

3. Four Chords That Made A Million (4.5/10)

4. Shesmovedon (9/10)

5. Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled (8.5/10)

6. The Rest Will Flow (7/10)

7. Hatesong (9/10)

8. Where We Would Be (6.5/10)

9. Russia On Ice (8/10)

10. Feel So Low (8/10)

Who Should Get this album: Any Porcupine Tree fan, Any alt. Rock fan who can listen to songs over 5 minutes in length, anyone who can enjoy relatively simple music as long as it is masterfully crafted, any fan of Pink Floyd.

Who Should Not Get this album: Geez, I really don't know what to say here. This is an album that should please all masses. I guess if you don't like Porcupine Tree, or if you are looking for an album for dancing or headbanging.

My Grade : B

Zitro | 4/5 |


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