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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1537 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Porcupine Tree's sixth album, 'Lightbulb Sun', is perhaps the bands most commercial sounding and pop-oriented release, and marked a natural progression in the song writing and style from their previous album, 'Stupid Dream'. Afterwards the band would find themselves replacing some of the pop influences with metal, which ironically landed them with far more exposure than this album ever received!

In a nutshell, 'Lightbulb Sun' is simply a fantastic progressive rock album driven forward by Steven Wilson's unique take on progressive music composition. It is an album very much of two halves. The first half of the album consists of relatively short duration, softer and poppier sounding songs. In the second half of the album things get a bit more complicated in their arrangements and instrumentation, not to mention the song durations increase quite a bit! The opening track, "Lightbulb Sun" is a microcosm for the rest of the album to come - delicate vocals from Steven Wilson, pop melodies but combined with some soaring progressive guitar parts and engaging musical structures.

The band really find themselves on fire on the fourth track of the album, "Shesmovedon", which might be one of the finest vocal performances by Wilson, and the melodies and arrangements are absolute perfection. It is a haunting, beautiful, soulful and highly enjoyable piece of melancholic rock music. The other strong highlight on the album is the bass driven "Hatesong", with some sublime bass and guitar interplays throughout.

Prog rock fans will probably be drawn straight away to penultimate track on the album, the 13-minute epic, "Russia On Ice". This is definitely one of the most transformative tracks on the album, and gives a nod to the style Porcupine Tree would follow on later releases with some heavier guitar riffing towards the end of the song.

Porcupine Tree as a band have always been about evolution - their musical style has never stayed in the same place for too long, which is one of the reasons why they have remained so vital in the progressive rock community. 'Lightbulb Sun' marked the end of an era for the band as they moved into new territories with 'In Absentia'. The biggest crime in the music industry is how this band has never achieved massive world-wide success, and how albums like 'Lightbulb Sun' have remained relatively unheard of by fans of rock music.

A very solid 4-star album by one of the finest progressive rock bands out there.

AndyJ | 4/5 |


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