Album 0399: Porcupine Tree – Lightbulb Sun

PorcupineTree-LightbulbSun

Release Date: 2000
Genre: Progressive Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Lightbulb Sun (05:32)
2. How Is Your Life Today? (02:47)
3. Four Chords That Made A Million (03:37)
4. Shesmovedon (05:15)
5. Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled (04:50)
6. The Rest Will Flow (03:18)
7. Hatesong (08:30)
8. Where We Would Be (04:13)
9. Russia On Ice (13:06)
10. Feel So Low (05:23)
11. Buying New Soul (06:09)
12. Tinto Brass (live) (06:49)
13. The Rest Will Flow (string section) (02:05)
14. Novak (03:51)
15. Buying New Soul (instrumental backing track) (14:26)

Total Length: 01:29:51

Lightbulb Sun starts off nicely, it’s a calm buildup to the electric guitar riff. The alternating bouts of heavy and not-heavy is a strong idea to play around with, and it gives this song its signature sound. How Is Your Life Today? is fantastic. The little piano staccato gets stuck in my head super easily, and the vocals keep the rhythm well. The creepy circus bit reminds me of a certain X Japan song, and it’s a brilliant ending.

Four Chords That Made A Million is decent. I kind of am entirely tired of people working Indian-like sounds into their work, it always feels forced and akin to a gimmick. The lyrics are also cheesy to me. Shesmovedon is the exact opposite. The music evokes exactly what you should be feeling, and the lyrics take that even further, deepening the depression felt in the song. It’s pretty perfect in all honesty.

Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled is good and creepy. I always hesitate to listen to it for a moment, but it’s worth listening to. It’s a use of samples on par with some post rock, and in a very scary manner in a sense. The Rest Will Flow is a nice little song. It doesn’t really stick in my head but it’s nice while I’m listening to it. Hatesong is pretty great and definitely the heaviest song on here. The instrumental section is the highlight for me, and a nice preview at what they would do on their next album.

Where We Would Be is fairly nice, but even less memorable than the last softer song. Russia On Ice is a big freaking song and has a lot of cool moments in it. It almost feels like a jam but it is a fully planned piece, and it’s all good. I just get lost in the song. Feel So Low is very nice, kind of some hints of Radiohead but more straightforward. I like the atmosphere in this track. This wraps up the regular album, which is pretty great on its own.

Buying New Soul is actually the edited version, down from 10 minutes long. It has a great intro and ending, the middle part doesn’t quite live up to that though. Tinto Brass is from an older album, and a live performance. It has some neat moments, but I’m not familiar with the original to say if there are any differences. The next track is the isolated string section of The Rest Will Flow and it’s neat to hear.

Novak is an interesting instrumental. It produces some neat atmospheres and somehow a hint of nostalgia. The last track is the backing track for Buying New Soul, with an extra four minutes that they cut just before the vocals were recorded. It’s got the same qualities as its much shorter version, but it’s never bad at any point. I really like this album, and probably still consider it my favorite/most consistent PT. It’s just easy to listen to and has so many high points.

Final Rating: 8.5/10

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