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Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2606 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It seems I adopt the minority position in saying that "Fear of a Blank Planet" is, sadly, far from the masterpiece it is being lauded as. In fact, I would go so far to say that it is the weakest album the band has recorded in decades, featuring nothing we haven't heard before (or worth hearing, more appropriately) and progressing little beyond the heavy groundwork so brilliantly established in their prior two albums.

The principal problem is that, with the exception of the immediately catchy vocal melodies of Wilson, the songs are simply not up to par with what we've heard before; some sections sound like "Blackfield" outtakes. The always great shifts between the band's eerie soundscapes and heavy riffs sound terribly contrived here; they come from no where, and disappear having added nothing to the song's depth. Rather, just when the listener is getting into and enjoying say, the dreamy textures of "Way Out of Here", a pointless explosion of simple, chugging crunch destroys the mood. Wilson does, however, give some very catchy and beautiful vocal deliveries on some songs.

The centerpiece, "Anesthatize", has a few highlights, but sounds more like three different songs connected together just for the sake of variety; if fails to evoke the same energy and emotion we heard last time around on the much shorter, and much more interesting "Arriving Somewhere". Alex Lifeson's contributions are a fun addition, but could have been utilized more.

The message, while certainly relevant, is practically beaten into the listener's head by the album's close, and lacks the creative subtlety found in Wilson's usual lyrics.

As a side note, did anyone else who saw this album performed on the last tour notice the amount of teenagers in attendance? Were they text-messaging their friends throughout the concert as much as they were at the one I was at? Maybe SW should dedicate "Fear of a Blank Planet" to his widening fan base...

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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