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


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2605 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Fear of a Blank Planet will always occupy a special place in my biography, as I literally get the album the day before my comprehensive exams as part of doctoral study. As you may imagine, I experienced plenty of powerful emotions during that time, from frustration, regret, sadness and general confusion. As you also may imagine, this made me perhaps more susceptible to some of Fear's emotional themes. (Primarily the confusing and unbridled angst of the title track and this innocence of My Ashes...fortunately much, much less so for the suicidal ideations of Sleep Together!).

I doubt I'll convince anyone who already thinks Fear is a great masterpiece or conversely a trite sellout compared to previous glory days, so I'm not going to try. I will say that only two tracks really have had any staying power for me: the title track and Anesthetize. The former is a heavy, upbeat rocker with entertaining, sarcastic, and angsty lyrics; and Anesthetize is a solid epic (probably in my top 50 all-time epics) that is admittedly imperfect (perhaps overkill on the drums and grunge riffs), but with lots of great material (Lifeson's solo, the pensive intro, and the poignant conclusion to name a few).

As for the rest, I do appreciate the clever details, double entendres, cover art, guest contributions, and overall theme, but I just don't see the songs (particularly Way Out of Here) as progressive masterpiece quality.

It's angsty, it's clever, it's coherent, and at times it's very good musically. Even if it doesn't live up to your particular hopes or expectations for Porcupine Tree, Fear of a Blank Planet makes a valuable contribution to the progressive rock collective conscience.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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