Album: Lightbulb Sun
Artist: Porcupine Tree
Original Release: June 6, 2000
Label: Snapper Music Group
Running Time: 55 minutes, 25 seconds
Amazon.com Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5
Porcupine Tree's eighth studio album. Lightbulb Sun takes bits and pieces of what made their prior albums great and gives you a glimpse of their sound leading up to this album, but at the same time it maintains it's own individuality. It's also a bit of a departure from their last album, Stupid Dream, in that there is more acoustic guitar and it's not as bright and cheery. It's one of my favorite PT albums and makes a great introduction to the band because of it's links to all the previous albums and foreshadowing of albums since.
Porcupine Tree is probably best classified as experimental progressive rock, and this album is no exception. The acoustics mixed with Steve Wilson's soothing voice makes it almost sound like a lullaby at times and makes for a relaxing, easy-listening album.
Lightbulb Sun (5:32)
The title track provides a powerful introduction to the album, starting out with an acoustic guitar and a piano and then adding drums, bass, and some overdriven electric guitar into the mix. The song itself is about being stuck inside when you're sick. It's also one of the heavier songs on the album.
How Is Your Life Today (2:46)
Composed of only vocals and piano for most of the song until some drum-like effects come in, this is a very melodic song and sadly, very short.
Four Chords That Made A Million (3:18)
A brilliant song commenting on how bands can make it big by only using four chords, but they'll just be fads and "get dropped like a stone." It was released as a single. The song itself is also well-done and even if they are only playing four chords, they're doing a much better job at it than the bands they're commenting on.
A song about, like the title says, a girl who has moved on and a guy reminiscing about their relationship. Mr. Wilson tells the guy to "savour it, it's all gone. Now she's moved on." There's a pretty amazing solo towards the end and it's said to be one of the best songs on the album. It was also released as a single.
Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled (4:16)
An odd, but rather hysterical song that is partly instrumental and partly samples from the Heaven's Gate cult's message before they committed mass suicide.
The Rest Will Flow (3:24)
Starts out with acoustic guitar, as a lot of the other songs on this album, but it later includes a wonderful string arrangement that sounds a bit like a small orchestra. The song is about finding someone special and how everything will be alright because of it.
Probably the most progressive rock sounding song of the album, Hatesong features a very prominent bass line and a ghostly effect on the vocals. It builds into a distorted guitar lick a couple times and the tension builds into a very moody instrumental section. There is a contrast between the soft verses and tense choruses that makes the song feel, well, like a Hatesong.
Where Would We Be (4:12)
A song that talks about how you say how you'll be later on in life when you're young and how it's, "Strange that you never become the person you see when you're young." It sounds like Steve misses the girl he dated when he was younger and wishes he still knew her, and it goes with the whole theme of the album about heartbreak and lost loves.
Russia On Ice (13:04)
By far the longest track on the album, Russia On Ice is a very depressed song that deals with drinking and yearning for someone. The strings make a reappearance and it builds into a very heavy instrumental for about the last half of the song.
Feel So Low (5:12)
Almost a more depressing song than Russia On Ice, the closing track is a slow song about being depressed because someone wouldn't return his calls and he waited for her to call or e-mail him all the time. At the end, he says thanks before the album draws to a close.
The CD itself