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Porcupine Tree - Recordings CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.20 | 398 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars B-Sides? Really?

I hate compilation albums. I loathe them with a fiery passion. I also am not usually a fan of b-sides. But when I saw Porcupine Tree's Recordings on the shelf at my local CD store, I felt inclined to take it. The price was good. So I popped it into my stereo, and prepared to be disappointed... Boy was I surprised.

The album begins with "Buying A New Soul." How on earth the band was possessed not to include this on a normal album is beyond me. This song is absolutely gorgeous, has ambient and beautiful keyboard work, interesting lyrics, and a memorable chorus. The next track is "Access Denied," not the kind of song you'd expect from the Tree. A happy, poppy piano song which actually isn't that bad. "Cure for Optimism" is a pretty laid back and slow paced song, but once the lyrics come in it's pretty nice. Still, weaker than the other songs. "Untitled" starts pretty similarily to "Buying New Soul," and most of the song is a lengthy solo. Another weaker song, but not too bad.

Next we have "Disappear," which is a highlight of the album. It's short, but contains beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies. Next is probably the best instrumental the band has ever written aside from "Burning Sky" from Up the Downstair. This song is "Ambulance Chasing." It begins with two minutes of tense drumming build up, then explodes into the great bassline and a lengthy guitar solo. The song pretty much stays around there the whole way, but it's great. And things only get better with "In Formaldehyde." This song is absolutely beautiful. The clean riff is depressing and beautiful, the brief dulcimer solo is stunning, as is the guitar solo. The vocals are also a highlight.

We then have an extended version of "Even Less," which the record company would not allow to be put on Stupid Dream because of controversial lyrics in the second half. The extended version features a great instrumental section, some more vocals, and a beautiful flute outro. We then have "Oceans Have No Memory," which really serves as nothing more than a closer to the disc.

In my opinion, this disc actually greatly exceeds Lightbulb Sun, and is slightly better than Stupid Dream. Why? Well, all of the songs here are lyrically strong, lyrics being a great flaw on Lightbulb Sun. Also, there are no annoying disposable tracks which I found to be a huge problem in Lightbulb Sun, and a smaller one in Stupid Dream. You could argue that "Oceans Have No Memory" is disposable, but I think it works as a closer. In this album, the PT sound also seems to be more present than in the other two albums.

Song ratings: Buying New Soul: 10/10 Access Denied: 8/10 Cure For Optimism: 7/5/10 Untitled: 7/10 Disappear: 9/10 Ambulance Chasing: 9/10 In Formaldehyde: 10/10 Even Less (extended): 9.5/10 Oceans Have No Memory: N/A

My rating: 4 stars. I reckon this will be the highest I'll ever rate a B-Side compilation. It really disappoints me that the band though that these songs didn't belong on an album, because I feel Stupid Dream and especially Lightbulb Sun could've benefited from these tracks.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 4/5 |


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