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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover

LIGHTBULB SUN

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.02 | 1523 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun

Porcupine Tree's finest moment according to many, I simply think it's good, but definitely not their masterpiece.

"Lightbulb Sun" sees this band incorporating a more mainstream, Britpop to be precise, sound within their music. Okay, we knew Wilson must have really like Pink Floyd/David Gilmour, the whole "Sky moves sideways" album is enough evidence to prove that fact, but here it's The Beatles. Just listen to the second track on this album: How is your Life today?. This is a tune that sounds like it was written by the pioneers themselves. Compared to the remaining songs on this album, the song's rather short and simplistic, but just listen to the way the keyboard progresses: sheer magic.

As I said earlier on, this album's a lot more accessible than PT's previous works, at least for those out there unaware of prog music and it's abstract tendencies. Sure, there are a few complex and eerie sections included in some of the songs, but most songs have the gift of being catchy from first played note.

A good example of this last category is the song Shesmovedon. Starting of as a typical rock ballad (emphasize on 'rock'!), the song gradually changes into a Steven Wilson guitar solo show-off section, which, in my opinion as a humble Porcupine Tree fan, is one of his finest moments up to date. In fact this song was one of the first PT songs I listened to and it was perhaps the reason for me to discover more of this band! And yes, it did make me an adept to this band's music.

Whereas most of the music compiled on this album shows the direction the band would head on for the next couple of years, there's also a bit of 'nostalgia' included. Last Chance to evacuate Planet Earth before it's recycled is basically an instrumental song (apart from the first minute) with resemblances with the earliest PT works, especially because of the highly typical keyboard sound which reminds me of some of the songs on the "Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape" album.

According to many Russia on Ice is one of PT's finest songs. It's also a song that sounds a lot like what we're used to from Porcupine Tree at the time of release. A bit of the laidback guitar playing from the "Sky moves sideways" album, with a twist of signify and some new elements that proved to be the bands trademark for the set of albums that followed: heavy guitar parts accompanied by pretty aggressive drumming and experimental keyboard patterns.

I would dare to say there aren't any bad songs included, but I have to admit that Where we would be never managed to work for me. It simply doesn't grip me the way the other songs do work for me. Overall, this is a great starting point for those unaware of Porcupine Tree's music and like to try it out.

Tristan Mulders | 3/5 |

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