PORCUPINE TREE — Lightbulb Sun (review)

PORCUPINE TREE — Lightbulb Sun album cover Album · 2000 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
aglasshouse
It's quite easy for anyone to say that PORCUPINE TREE's 2000 progressive rock album is not as good as say masterpieces like In Absentia or Fear of a Blank Planet. Although I think that they are drastically different in terms of sound, that does not mean that they're better or worse than eachother. In fact, I think all three of said albums are fantastic for what they are, though perhaps I find myself liking this release more.

I've said it a million times and I'll say it again. Progressive metal is not my thing. I enjoy only a handful of bands with said sound, such as VOIVOD, but sadly PORCUPINE TREE (although being my friends' favorite band of all time) is not a band that I like very much. Don't get me wrong, their sound is excellent for what it is. But I never got into albums like Fear of a Blank Planet, although I did find myself enjoying Deadwing (probably because it was more alternative-oriented). However, Lightbulb Sun is perhaps my favorite release by the band.

Perhaps this album is stuck in limbo of progressive rock and alternative rock, but I find myself thinking more along the lines or progressive. This did after all precede the release of Stupid Dream, an experimental concept album released a year earlier, so they wouldn't be going back to metal for a time.

The album starts off with the interesting title track, 'Lightbulb Sun', which combines elements of acoustic and metal, perhaps more of the former overall. The song is probably my top highlight of the album. 'How's Your Life Today?' bridges 'Lightbulb Sun' and 'Four Chords that Made a Million' with a short but sweet piano piece. It's quite nice upon listening, not to mention relaxing. 'Four Chords' actually brings a Signify-type sound back into the picture, with lyrics speaking of the problems that recording companies put on bands like them. 'Last Chance to Evacuate...' is probably the most mediocre, sort of like an experiment in mocking PINK FLOYDs sound. It does not fit in well by any means. Same sort of goes for 'Where We Would Be', although I must concede that the PINK FLOYD influenced sound is not on that song. 'Russia on Ice' and 'Hatesong' is where the metal first comes back into entirety. 'Russia on Ice' is more dominated by slow acoustics, with the ending quarter of the epic being devoted to more metal (Same goes for 'Hatesong'). 'Feel So Low' is an extremely slow and relaxing closer, with no remnants of metal and keeps the sound of a soft love song throughout. Although the lyrics may seem a little cliche (a typical love song), it is extremely beautiful and just great to listen to.

I would totally recommend this to anyone seeking great progressive rock work by this band. Prog-fans seem to love it, and I sure do as well.

Go give it a listen.
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Unitron wrote:
49 days ago
Yeah, this by far my favorite now. Russia on Ice is just as amazing as the rest of the album. PS2 to Uniballz, Fear of a Blank Planet isn't your favorite, it's your least favorite 5 years from now
aglasshouse wrote:
more than 2 years ago
What I mean to say is, I agree with that. In fact, I like this album more than those two, but many people disagree and say that FoaBP and In Absentia are better. So what I'm saying is even though I like it, many people are inclined to disagree.
Diogenes wrote:
more than 2 years ago
" It's quite easy for anyone to say that PORCUPINE TREE's 2000 progressive rock album is not as good as say masterpieces like In Absentia or Fear of a Blank Planet."

Not me. I think it's better than In Absentia and just as good as FoaBP. This era of Porcupine Tree is criminally overlooked for some reason.

Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
This is certainly a great album, it's not my favorite but 'Russia on Ice' is one of my favorite metal epics.

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