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Porcupine Tree

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Porcupine Tree We Lost The Skyline album cover
3.49 | 263 ratings | 15 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Sky Moves Sideways (4:02)
2. Even Less (3:27)
3. Stars Die (4:33)
4. Waiting (3:52)
5. Normal (4:52)
6. Drown With Me (4:09)
7. Lazarus (4:29)
8. Trains (4:04)

Total Time: 32:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
- John Wesley / electric guitar, backing vocals

Releases information

CD: Transmission
Vinyl: Tonefloat Records

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and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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PORCUPINE TREE We Lost The Skyline ratings distribution

(263 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PORCUPINE TREE We Lost The Skyline reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars A mandatory purchase for fans of what is rapidly becoming the defining band in the genre. We Lost the Skyline features SW (with John Wesley), crooning out rare songs sans rhythm section. The result is a wonderfully emotive and tender listen which stands alone in the band's live library.

As a live album in general, this one has it all: moments of banter and interaction with the crowd (who never interferes with the music), unique versions of familiar songs, and tremendous intimacy. The production is first rate; when listening to this album with headphones makes the listener feel as if they're in the same room with the two, whose skills as musicians and entertainers shines. Additionally, John Wesley's contributions to the group's sound is heard here with much more clarity, since he does most of the electric soloing.

With a stellar set-list and intimate performance, this one is a keeper, and easily rates next to Coma Divine in the band's live offerings.

Setlist 4 Instrumental Performances 4 Stage Energy 3 Live Experience 5

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Porcupine Tree - 'We Lost the Skyline' 3.5 stars

This live performance CD features Steven Wilson and John Wesley playing guitar only compositions of PT songs. Besides the great renditions of all the tracks, there is also a few pieces played that would never see the light of day in future Porcupine Tree shows, including 'The Sky Moves Sideways', 'Stars Die' and 'Waiting'.

Most of the guitar work is done acoustically, but there is some electric guitar, mainly to provide chorus backing and adding a little bit of effect to shed some flavor. The vocals are the same, since Wilson is already a 'laid back' singer; it fits well on this CD as well. The track listing is very nice, as they all typically fit under the many Porcupine Tree classics. Steven Wilson also has some funny speech moments, 'Normal' in particular.

This live CD is fairly short, but the quality is ever so good. This is a pretty good CD to invest in, fans would be happy.

Review by TRoTZ
2 stars The Fear of a Blank Planet tour resulted in very nice and dense performances, but the band opted to commercialize an acoustic set which generally is uncharacterized, failing to achieve the emotional deepness of the studio tracks, with the exception of Normal and, perhaps, Stars Die, with good alternative interpretations. This was not a particularly good day for the band and should never be commercialized as a main album. Still, for the fans it may be interesting to have the acoustic interpretations of band's classics such as The Sky Moves Sideways or Even Less. The positive grade is only due to Normal.

5/10 (vulgar)

Review by laplace
2 stars Porcupine Tree are normally respected for their excursions into progressive territory, but being closer to REM than anything under their usual banner, this short set of PT alt-rock ballads is aimed squarely at collectors, earning We Lost the Skyline the two stars it deserves.

With a band line-up pared down so dramatically for this performance, what may well once have been thoughtful and elaborate compositions are inevitably reduced to singer/songwriter fare. If you enjoy having your emotional reins tugged by plaintive singing and traditional rock songs then you'll like this, but it seems like an oddity to me and there are plenty of bands who can push thee rawk anthem buttons at least as adeptly.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'We Lost The Skyline' - Porcupine Tree (7/10)

Steven Wilson remains to this day; one of my favourite songwriters. Even beyond Porcupine Tree's beautiful production quality, and sonic layering, the compositions stand alone as being emotionally crafted, and superb. There is a brand of all-too sincere melancholy in the man's art that is scarcely seen in modern music, and lesser still in the tech-prevalent realm of prog.

'We Lost The Skyline' only serves to prove my point on Steven Wilson's songwriting. No matter how much you sugarcoat music with pretty effects and trippy production techniques, you can't replace any flair for the core that is a good song...

...And what better way to hear a good song than in the intimate confines of a coffee house? The effect of 'We Lost The Skyline' is inspiring. It's not that it's musically perfect (hell, Steven Wilson even makes a mistake in one of the songs, apologizes to the audience, and begins again!) and it's not that it's incredibly creative and experimental... It's that it fulfills a dream that I (and many other Porcupine Tree fans, I would assume) have; to listen to one of their favourite bands in a small, intimate venue. There's no flair here, just great songwriting and a sense of great warmth.

Get your coffee mugs out.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars We Lost The Skyline captures an in-store live performance from Porcupine Tree. Or rather, it should have been Porcupine Tree but due to technical reasons there was only space for Steven Wilson and John Wesley on the small podium.

The circumstances led to a unique experience where Wilson had to strip the band arrangements to their bare essence. With just two electric guitars and vocals some songs sound entirely different. The Sky Moves Sideways is 4 minute rendition, basically it's only the second section with the vocals. The arrangement has been changed to just an ambient guitar accompaniment to Wilson's confident vocals. Great one. 4stars

Even Less is a bit strange but I quite like it. It sounds like how Jeff Buckley would do this with just the vocals and a slightly distorted electric guitar. 3.5stars

For Stars Die, Wilson switches to acoustic guitars. Something that obviously suits this song very well. The vocals are very strong and prove Wilson's grown confidence as a vocalist. The lush atmosphere of the original is lacking here of course. 4stars

Waiting, without that gorgeous bass line from Colin Edwin? No way. The guitars solos are fine but something is really missing here. Also the vocals disappoint me here. 2stars.

Normal must be one of PT's weakest tracks of recent years, but the abbreviated version here works better then the original one from Nil Recurring. The parts of the song that were also used for the song Sentimental are cut out. 2stars.

Drown With Me is that wonderful PT song that was absent from the In Absentia regular edition, a glaring omission that I never understood. The original band version is better but if you don't have it then this is a decent alternative. 3stars.

Lazarus is the poorest PT song ever in my book. The unplugged version makes things even worse and only further reveals the song's true nature: cheesy emo pop. 1star

Trains is the predictable encore. A rather forgettable version. 2 stars.

I usually don't like unplugged albums at all, but of course I'm not surprised Wilson manages to soften my judgement. Not convincing all the way but a good release for fans.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This is a recording of a live remote done at a music store in Orlando, Florida in Oct, 2007. Originally, the remote performance was to feature the entire band, however, because of space issues, only Steven Wilson and John Wesley were able to attend. What resulted is a very warm and intimate 33 minute mini-concert in front of 200 very lucky fans, which is the subject of this album.

Steven Wilson performs alone in the first 3 tracks, singing and playing both electric and acoustic guitars. John Wesley doesn't appear until the 4th track. As the performance continues, Wilson opens up to the crowd and you get so involved in the intimacy of the concert, that you feel like you are there. You hear songs that you wouldn't expect to hear in this kind of a setting, namely the verses from "The Sky Moves Sideways" which turns into a beautiful and pensive song, Even Less, and Drown With Me. There are also some you would expect to hear, which retain their beauty, but give them a new life, namely, "Waiting", "Trains" and "Lazarus".

You know exactly when Wesley joins in during the middle of "Waiting", and he comes in at the right time, exactly when you want to hear that extra guitar support. At the beginning of "Normal", Wilson really warms up to the audience and relates a great story about him and Robert Fripp, and he even jokes around with his performance. The riff intro to "Waiting" is heard as the complex and difficult riff that it is. Wesley's voice gets it's due in this song as he sings counterpoint to Wilson's main verses.

This album is a definite must to Porcupine Tree fans, and is an excellent addition to anyone's music library, especially to lovers of acoustic and bare bones music. These performances bring out the soul of the songs and shifts the focus to the lyrics and the hearts of the songs. It may not be a masterpiece of progressive music, but it is one of the most intimate and most enjoyable acoustic sets that have been recorded. Highly recommended. Honestly, I only have a few acoustic performance albums that I consider my favorites, and this is one of them.

Review by Warthur
4 stars This is an intriguing live release sourced from a Porcupine Tree appearance at a Florida record shop. Due to the constraints of the venue, a full band performance proved impossible, so the band adapted and instead offered up a trimmed-down unit of just Steven Wilson and John Wesley, performing trimmed-down arrangements of some of their material.

Though this is not quite an "unplugged" set - Wesley is backing on electric guitar, Wilson uses electric guitar at points - there's enough focus on Wilson's acoustic guitar to give it that sort of vibe, and this casts the material in a very different light, like a matured take on the indie rock-influenced direction the band took around the time of Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun, and Recordings. Still, despite that point of comparison it's a unique entry in the band's discography, and it's perhaps a strength of these songs that they lend themselves to this sort of very minimalistic interpretation just as much as the lusher incarnations we are more used to.

Latest members reviews

3 stars "Actually it's just me" Steven Wilson performs with a single guitar, supported by the loyal John Wesley, in front of a small crowd. Classic PT songs are revised in a minimal form. Wilson is one of the most brilliant musicians around: instead of proposing a normal live recording from the Fear o ... (read more)

Report this review (#230311) | Posted by pepato | Friday, August 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I wish more bands were willing to strip themselves down to such a raw form and leave themselves out there for a fresh new interpretation such as Porcupine Tree have on many occasions. We Lost the Skyline is a conrnerstone for how acoustic sets should be done, by a band that usually features lay ... (read more)

Report this review (#203620) | Posted by Metal_Style | Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I am disappointed to see this album rated so low. I might be biased since I was actually at this show, but for people who do not know the story behind this recording it can diminish their view towards this. This album lacks the rest of the band because there was no room for them to play. When Por ... (read more)

Report this review (#198072) | Posted by Ray Stokes | Friday, January 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I completely agree with TRoTZ review. The setlist in the Fear of a Blank Planet Tour was very good. The band could just make a live album from the tour, with the FoaBP songs plus the classic songs. Only Anesthetize live would make it worth. There is nothing special about this acoustic show, not ... (read more)

Report this review (#179646) | Posted by Junges | Friday, August 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've always amazed with STEVEN WILSON's accoustic guitar playing and the way he can interpret his full instrumented song into guitar/vocal pieces without loss of the feeling and the quality. As we know PORCUPINE TREE has a past and presence as they turned their sound from psychedelic rock to a mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#173598) | Posted by eMTee | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Despite no drums, bass, keyboards - all the heavyweight riffs taken out, and all the icy atmospheres gone - this is PT laid bare - just the melodies. However, it is still really good - which is surely the mark of a great band. It's really nice to hear it this way, and with a lot of fun to boot ... (read more)

Report this review (#171367) | Posted by PinkPangolin | Sunday, May 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A must have for fan of Porcupine Tree and guitar player. 4th October 2007, Steven Wilson and John Wesley delivered an in-store performance and signing session at Park Avenue CDs in Orlando, Florida, with 200 fans also in attendance. Many songs rarely played by the band, making for a very s ... (read more)

Report this review (#162662) | Posted by goping | Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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