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Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.00 | 1329 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Steven Wilson sells out, but he's not happy about it.

Following such psychadellic albums such as Up The Downstair, The Sky Moves Sideways, and Signify, Steve Wilson turns the band sharply and starts writting a more song based album. Be this the work of himself or producers, we don't know, but as described in PIANO LESSONS, "Get ready to be sold." this is an album devoid of Porcupine Tree's usual granduer, producing three singles, and more radio friendly (if darker) material (even cutting a 14 minute long EVEN LESS into a mere 7 minutes, and while the remaster does include the original I'd have liked to have seen the full version on the cd.), but it's good none the less. The album does sound more poppy, a big reason why it's harder to get into for the progressive crowd, but after a few listens it does leave it's mark.

Starting with the shortened EVEN LESS we're introduced to a lighter sounding, much more evil version of the band. For example, the subject matter over the album ranges from dead bodies being washed up on a beach to reminicing about "cruel ears" of a piano instructor telling her student he's "better off in bed", to a track called DON'T HATE ME, to a tale of a boy wanting to leave the confines of the Earth, to Steve Wilson telling his audience in a roundabout way to stop trying to disect his songs so much. With this in mind it's no wonder the prog tag still sticks to this album despite it's poppy sound.

There are some remarkable standouts here, PIANO LESSONS has always been a favorite for me, while PURE NARCOTIC and THIS IS NO REHERSAL are just as good. However, TINTO BRASS is the song that always kept me coming back, starting with a phone dial tone and cataclysmically exploding into a great instrumental that is totally unmissable by the end, this is a true (if lost) Porcupine Tree classic.

Here is a great album that I'd easilly give 3.5 stars to. Excellent, but not toally essential, especially for those who want a more album- based album. But for anyone who want to hear the evolution of early PT to current PT this is definately the turning point, and though later alums such as IN ABSENTIA capture that side of the band better this is definatly worth the expense.

Ah! Also good to note, the remastered edition includes the 5.1 surround mix, as well as the full verison of EVEN LESS and the video for PIANO LESSONS. If you're indecisive about buying the album, that might win you over.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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