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Porcupine Tree - We Lost The Skyline CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree

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3 stars A must have for fan of Porcupine Tree and guitar player.

4th October 2007, Steven Wilson and John Wesley delivered an in-store performance and signing session at Park Avenue CDs in Orlando, Florida, with 200 fans also in attendance.

Many songs rarely played by the band, making for a very special and intimate show.

The choices of songs and the melancholic tone of the performance make this album better suited for fans of the earlier PT. Wilson and Wesley voices are very well tuned for this show.

Nice energetic guitars on Even less and Drown with me. Shrouded and hypnotic voice as it should for the songs tone on The sky move sideways and Star die. Waiting and Normal are the perfect songs for this kind of show... Wesley and Wilson guitars are perfect(oups or almost for the intro on normal...) and superimposed voices as well...Excellent.

I would have put 4 stars since i am a fan but 3 stars for anyone who like acoustic performance and don't know much of the PT material. Short and sweet. Would have add Nine cats for dessert ;)

Report this review (#162662)
Posted Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars A mandatory purchase for fans of what is rapidly becoming the defining band in the genre. We Lost the Skyline features SW (with John Wesley), crooning out rare songs sans rhythm section. The result is a wonderfully emotive and tender listen which stands alone in the band's live library.

As a live album in general, this one has it all: moments of banter and interaction with the crowd (who never interferes with the music), unique versions of familiar songs, and tremendous intimacy. The production is first rate; when listening to this album with headphones makes the listener feel as if they're in the same room with the two, whose skills as musicians and entertainers shines. Additionally, John Wesley's contributions to the group's sound is heard here with much more clarity, since he does most of the electric soloing.

With a stellar set-list and intimate performance, this one is a keeper, and easily rates next to Coma Divine in the band's live offerings.

Setlist 4 Instrumental Performances 4 Stage Energy 3 Live Experience 5

Report this review (#164468)
Posted Thursday, March 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Porcupine Tree - 'We Lost the Skyline' 3.5 stars

This live performance CD features Steven Wilson and John Wesley playing guitar only compositions of PT songs. Besides the great renditions of all the tracks, there is also a few pieces played that would never see the light of day in future Porcupine Tree shows, including 'The Sky Moves Sideways', 'Stars Die' and 'Waiting'.

Most of the guitar work is done acoustically, but there is some electric guitar, mainly to provide chorus backing and adding a little bit of effect to shed some flavor. The vocals are the same, since Wilson is already a 'laid back' singer; it fits well on this CD as well. The track listing is very nice, as they all typically fit under the many Porcupine Tree classics. Steven Wilson also has some funny speech moments, 'Normal' in particular.

This live CD is fairly short, but the quality is ever so good. This is a pretty good CD to invest in, fans would be happy.

Report this review (#165062)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars The Fear of a Blank Planet tour resulted in very nice and dense performances, but the band opted to commercialize an acoustic set which generally is uncharacterized, failing to achieve the emotional deepness of the studio tracks, with the exception of Normal and, perhaps, Stars Die, with good alternative interpretations. This was not a particularly good day for the band and should never be commercialized as a main album. Still, for the fans it may be interesting to have the acoustic interpretations of band's classics such as The Sky Moves Sideways or Even Less. The positive grade is only due to Normal.

5/10 (vulgar)

Report this review (#166458)
Posted Saturday, April 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Porcupine Tree are normally respected for their excursions into progressive territory, but being closer to REM than anything under their usual banner, this short set of PT alt-rock ballads is aimed squarely at collectors, earning We Lost the Skyline the two stars it deserves.

With a band line-up pared down so dramatically for this performance, what may well once have been thoughtful and elaborate compositions are inevitably reduced to singer/songwriter fare. If you enjoy having your emotional reins tugged by plaintive singing and traditional rock songs then you'll like this, but it seems like an oddity to me and there are plenty of bands who can push thee rawk anthem buttons at least as adeptly.

Report this review (#166471)
Posted Saturday, April 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Despite no drums, bass, keyboards - all the heavyweight riffs taken out, and all the icy atmospheres gone - this is PT laid bare - just the melodies. However, it is still really good - which is surely the mark of a great band.

It's really nice to hear it this way, and with a lot of fun to boot - the best of which is Steve Wilson's humorous attempt at Normal - the best moment of the album.

Nice to hear some of the older songs played in this way, and good to hear John Wesley given some more well-deserved limelight.

A nice relaxing listen, especially when you feel a little tired, or want to stare at the sky listening to music on a sunny day when the birds are singing!

Recommended, although the no metal for the metal-heads in this one!

The crowd were obviously enjoying every moment of this, and were highly disappointed when it had to finish - a feeling you left with yourself.

It grows on you - by the 3rd or 4th listen, it sounds even better.

Report this review (#171367)
Posted Sunday, May 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've always amazed with STEVEN WILSON's accoustic guitar playing and the way he can interpret his full instrumented song into guitar/vocal pieces without loss of the feeling and the quality. As we know PORCUPINE TREE has a past and presence as they turned their sound from psychedelic rock to a more accessible heavy prog style. Most of the (new) fans are welcomed this transformation some of the old fans (like me) didn't. The majorty of the new fans will underrate this album as for several years this one is the first that brings back the great old feeling, the way STEVEN WILSON played his music in the '90s. For me this is a 5 star album and the best from the band since Lightbulb Sun. I hope with this release, Steven headed back to the right way again...
Report this review (#173598)
Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I completely agree with TRoTZ review. The setlist in the Fear of a Blank Planet Tour was very good. The band could just make a live album from the tour, with the FoaBP songs plus the classic songs. Only Anesthetize live would make it worth.

There is nothing special about this acoustic show, nothing. 32 minutes? Why release this? I am sure that if Steven Wilson had released a live album with the FoaBP set, it would sell much more than this album.

Collectors / Fans only.

Report this review (#179646)
Posted Friday, August 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am disappointed to see this album rated so low. I might be biased since I was actually at this show, but for people who do not know the story behind this recording it can diminish their view towards this. This album lacks the rest of the band because there was no room for them to play. When Porcupine Tree agreed to play there I assume they thought the store was bigger because the show was going to originally be the whole band.

To describe the setting there was about 100 people crammed between the cd racks while a stage was set up against a wall that could occupy 10 people at most comfortably. Steven sat on a stool in the center of the stage with his acoustic while the rest of the band stood off to the side watching next to some merchandise.

Due to the circumstances I was pleasantly surprised with the arrangement. How often is anyone going to see Steven Wilson play solo? Anyway, on to the album, which of course is amazing. With the lack of layers comes a raw emotion that adds a different light to the songs, especially with Stars Die, which is a song I cared little for before this show. When Wesley comes on stage then a whole new beast is born with Waiting and Lazarus. In fact, if there is any one reason to get this album it is for the recording of Lazarus, which at times I like more than the studio recording.

As with anything though, this album is not without its flaws. The talking part before Normal should have been placed on a separate track to make it easy to skip. On top of that I think Normal was a sup-par choice considering the arrangement. Only three minutes of the song are played, and while I like it, I think a lot is lost in translation. A more preferable choice would have been Half Light, which they had played the previous night and was absolutely amazing.

This album is not a perfect five, but if you're a PT fan you are going to want to own this album.

Report this review (#198072)
Posted Friday, January 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I wish more bands were willing to strip themselves down to such a raw form and leave themselves out there for a fresh new interpretation such as Porcupine Tree have on many occasions. We Lost the Skyline is a conrnerstone for how acoustic sets should be done, by a band that usually features layers upon layers of different sounds within thier complex music. This live album draws you in and captivates you as a listener. The stripped down versions of Lazarus, Trains, Stars Die and Waiting are beautiful if nothing else.

The only real problem with this album is the fact that when you cancel out all of the talking (albeit entertaining talking) the song Normal is only about a minute and a half long. Other than that, this is a special and intimate live album like none other.

Report this review (#203620)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'We Lost The Skyline' - Porcupine Tree (7/10)

Steven Wilson remains to this day; one of my favourite songwriters. Even beyond Porcupine Tree's beautiful production quality, and sonic layering, the compositions stand alone as being emotionally crafted, and superb. There is a brand of all-too sincere melancholy in the man's art that is scarcely seen in modern music, and lesser still in the tech-prevalent realm of prog.

'We Lost The Skyline' only serves to prove my point on Steven Wilson's songwriting. No matter how much you sugarcoat music with pretty effects and trippy production techniques, you can't replace any flair for the core that is a good song...

...And what better way to hear a good song than in the intimate confines of a coffee house? The effect of 'We Lost The Skyline' is inspiring. It's not that it's musically perfect (hell, Steven Wilson even makes a mistake in one of the songs, apologizes to the audience, and begins again!) and it's not that it's incredibly creative and experimental... It's that it fulfills a dream that I (and many other Porcupine Tree fans, I would assume) have; to listen to one of their favourite bands in a small, intimate venue. There's no flair here, just great songwriting and a sense of great warmth.

Get your coffee mugs out.

Report this review (#221639)
Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Actually it's just me"

Steven Wilson performs with a single guitar, supported by the loyal John Wesley, in front of a small crowd. Classic PT songs are revised in a minimal form. Wilson is one of the most brilliant musicians around: instead of proposing a normal live recording from the Fear of a Blank Planet Tour, he opted for this peculiar recording. Many people may be disappointed by this choice, but I believe it's a won bet.

The result is an initimate and emotional chamber concert, very warm and original. PT lovers can listen to a unique reinterpretation of some classics, sharing the experience of the lucky 200 fans crowded in Park Avenue Cds, Orlando, Florida. This rare gem offers simple yet deep emotions.

The opening of The Sky move sideways is worth the album. A psychedelic track played with *a single electric guitar*: it took my breath away, and moved me to tears. Wilson's voice is soft, sad, tender, and it's offered in all its beauty.

Stars Die, performed with a single acoustic guitar, gives similar feelings. Normal, introduced by one of those nice anecdotes which make human and unique the live experience, is pure and direct, condensing all the essence of the original track. We have also the chance to listen to less known songs, like Drown with me, taken from the Futile EP.

Lazarus and Trains show the usual beauty, and the ideal ending for this particular party enjoyed in the company of Steven Wilson.

The only remark may be done about the short length of the whole record.

Maybe it's destined to the fans more than to occasional listeners. Anyway it's a short piece of art which contains the essence of a band, even if distant form their usual sound.

Good. Very good. But not essential.

Report this review (#230311)
Posted Friday, August 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars We Lost The Skyline captures an in-store live performance from Porcupine Tree. Or rather, it should have been Porcupine Tree but due to technical reasons there was only space for Steven Wilson and John Wesley on the small podium.

The circumstances led to a unique experience where Wilson had to strip the band arrangements to their bare essence. With just two electric guitars and vocals some songs sound entirely different. The Sky Moves Sideways is 4 minute rendition, basically it's only the second section with the vocals. The arrangement has been changed to just an ambient guitar accompaniment to Wilson's confident vocals. Great one. 4stars

Even Less is a bit strange but I quite like it. It sounds like how Jeff Buckley would do this with just the vocals and a slightly distorted electric guitar. 3.5stars

For Stars Die, Wilson switches to acoustic guitars. Something that obviously suits this song very well. The vocals are very strong and prove Wilson's grown confidence as a vocalist. The lush atmosphere of the original is lacking here of course. 4stars

Waiting, without that gorgeous bass line from Colin Edwin? No way. The guitars solos are fine but something is really missing here. Also the vocals disappoint me here. 2stars.

Normal must be one of PT's weakest tracks of recent years, but the abbreviated version here works better then the original one from Nil Recurring. The parts of the song that were also used for the song Sentimental are cut out. 2stars.

Drown With Me is that wonderful PT song that was absent from the In Absentia regular edition, a glaring omission that I never understood. The original band version is better but if you don't have it then this is a decent alternative. 3stars.

Lazarus is the poorest PT song ever in my book. The unplugged version makes things even worse and only further reveals the song's true nature: cheesy emo pop. 1star

Trains is the predictable encore. A rather forgettable version. 2 stars.

I usually don't like unplugged albums at all, but of course I'm not surprised Wilson manages to soften my judgement. Not convincing all the way but a good release for fans.

Report this review (#283951)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars This is a recording of a live remote done at a music store in Orlando, Florida in Oct, 2007. Originally, the remote performance was to feature the entire band, however, because of space issues, only Steven Wilson and John Wesley were able to attend. What resulted is a very warm and intimate 33 minute mini-concert in front of 200 very lucky fans, which is the subject of this album.

Steven Wilson performs alone in the first 3 tracks, singing and playing both electric and acoustic guitars. John Wesley doesn't appear until the 4th track. As the performance continues, Wilson opens up to the crowd and you get so involved in the intimacy of the concert, that you feel like you are there. You hear songs that you wouldn't expect to hear in this kind of a setting, namely the verses from "The Sky Moves Sideways" which turns into a beautiful and pensive song, Even Less, and Drown With Me. There are also some you would expect to hear, which retain their beauty, but give them a new life, namely, "Waiting", "Trains" and "Lazarus".

You know exactly when Wesley joins in during the middle of "Waiting", and he comes in at the right time, exactly when you want to hear that extra guitar support. At the beginning of "Normal", Wilson really warms up to the audience and relates a great story about him and Robert Fripp, and he even jokes around with his performance. The riff intro to "Waiting" is heard as the complex and difficult riff that it is. Wesley's voice gets it's due in this song as he sings counterpoint to Wilson's main verses.

This album is a definite must to Porcupine Tree fans, and is an excellent addition to anyone's music library, especially to lovers of acoustic and bare bones music. These performances bring out the soul of the songs and shifts the focus to the lyrics and the hearts of the songs. It may not be a masterpiece of progressive music, but it is one of the most intimate and most enjoyable acoustic sets that have been recorded. Highly recommended. Honestly, I only have a few acoustic performance albums that I consider my favorites, and this is one of them.

Report this review (#2036449)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | Review Permalink

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