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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1523 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars Rest will most certainly flow

Lightbulb Sun is the legendary album by one of the more famous modern progressive rock bands today, Porcupine Tree. A relatively large leap from their more psychedelic era only a few years prior, the album really starts the more metallic and "rocking" era of Porcupine Tree, which is truly initiated with the almost metallic album In Absentia two years later. This album, despite its very relaxed and easy going atmosphere, is one of the band's more steadily rocking albums, continuing in the vein of Stupid Dream a year prior. The album has an almost Brit folk and country feel to it, with a heavy use of slide guitar and acoustic guitar. The overall atmosphere is very relaxed; with many songs have a very simple beat and a nice acoustic riff and chord progression to go along with that. Overall, the whole album is a rather pleasant experience and it proves to be one of the band's more relaxing albums.

Of course, many call this one of their most accessible and almost "poppy" album, which is understandable, for most of the melodies and guitar riffs are peppy little pop-inspired and extremely catchy lines of song. From the pleasantries of the childish daydream title track (in a good way) to the haunting yet oddly attractive Last Chance to Escape Planet Earth Before it is Recycled, the whole album has a very accessible feel, with that subtle Porcupine Tree charm that truly makes it the gem that PT albums tend to be.

What truly amazes me is the extreme amount of diversity found on the album. There is, as any listener would note, the overhanging theme of mellow acoustic guitar riffs, but the album fluctuates rapidly, from peppy poppier songs to Southern-esque rockier moments with heavy use of a slide (much to my despair ? I hate the slide), to mellow jazzier moments, to so much more. The whole alum truly emanates a supreme sense of compositional grace, with supreme harmonies between the instruments, especially the bass and guitar on many of the songs. Whether it is the surprising ease of Rest Will Flow, or the dour mood of Hatesong, or even the more psychedelic and epic (and also quite dour) throwback with Russia on Ice, the entire album is a nice breath of fresh air for prog fans.

For a rating, I was stuck whilst listening for a while. The album, in a progressive sense, isn't very progressive, with some songs having that twinge, but the majority of the album being an artsy rock piece. However, as I listened and listened and listened again, the true depth of the music began to sink in. The incredible vastness of this music is truly incredible. Although it may be a more pop based album, this collection of genius composition is truly awe inspiring. I can't help but smile when Wilson's nostalgic-sounding melodies in tracks such as Where We Would Be and Feel So Low begin to play, with their almost cheesy quality and overall very peppy and very happy overtone. Overall, this album is really great. Although it may not be an incredible masterpiece, it truly is a great recommendation of mine, if you don't mind a slow grower. 4 stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |


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