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Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun CD (album) cover

LIGHTBULB SUN

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.03 | 1471 ratings

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Pastmaster
5 stars Adorned with a solemn textless album cover, Porcupine Tree's Lightbulb Sun is one of the best alternative rock albums out there. It's an album that exudes depressive as well as bittersweet melodies and instrumentation, and has enough metal to give it an aggressive edge when needed. By this time, Porcupine Tree had just about completely discarded the wonky psychedelic rock of their first few albums and made a smooth transition into the alternative rock/metal sound they're known for today.

Comparisons to bands like Pink Floyd, Live, and Toad the Wet Sprocket would be fair, but the band does really have their own unique sound here. There are spacey remnants of their early albums, but they have now taken form as an atmospheric backdrop to a depressive yet bittersweet alternative rock sound, which really benefits the mood of the album. "Shesmovedon" is a perfect example of this, as the song switches from a melancholic plod to harmonious melody during the chorus. The epic track "Russia on Ice" lands mostly on the depressive end, but builds up to a colossal metal thrashing at the end with a spacey orchestral backdrop.

Lightbulb Sun is a good album to listen to in whole, as the lengthy-titled "Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It is Recycled" doesn't really stand on it's own very well. However, it works when in context with the entire album. As far as highlights go, excluding the ones previously mentioned, the dreary piano ballad "How is Your Life Today?" is certainly one. The fun snarky poke at the music industry "Four Chords that Made a Million" is as well, and is probably the only moment on the album that's not layered with feelings of loneliness and depression. The bass-heavy "Hatesong" and the nice heavy/serene contrast of the title cut are among my favorites as well.

With most of Porcupine Tree's output, you know what you're getting on the lyricism front. Most of the lyricism is made up of sadness, depression, loneliness, hate, drugs, and various other melancholy themes. The aforementioned "Four Chords that Made a Million" is the only song on the more lighthearted end, and provides some nice variation to an otherwise dreary album. Of course, when one shares the feelings expressed on albums like these, nothing hits harder in my experience.

On Lightbulb Sun, Porcupine Tree really focused their sound, and knew when and where to incorporate the different elements of their music. While I really like several of the band's albums, I think this is easily their most consistent and one that really resonates with me. One of my favorite albums, and an essential listen if you're looking for some melancholic alternative rock with a bit of a heavy edge.

Written on MMA (MetalMusicArchives) See review here: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/review/lightbulb-sun/336343

Pastmaster | 5/5 |

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