Review Summary: Stupid Dream is an excellent, psychedelic progressive rock album that features some of Porcupine Tree's best works.
Modern Progressive Rock has gone unnoticed in America for too long, and has resulted in the neglection of epic, classic, and unbelieveably great bands like Porcupine Tree and Opeth. Sure, the privileged few actually listen to Porcupine Tree and Opeth in America, but for the most part, if you went up to a rock fan in America and asked them to name a song by Porcupine Tree or Opeth, they'd point and laugh at the name
Porcupine Tree, and try to make up some song for Opeth. Why is this? Is American rock just that negligent to good music that the best stuff goes unnoticed? But what really boggles my mind is why Stupid Dream
was Porcupine Tree's breakout hit in England, and their best selling album, while Porcupine Tree was utterly ignored here in America.
I'd put Porcupine Tree on the same level as Progressive Rock legends Pink Floyd, Rush, and Yes. They are that good. Stupid Dream
, is in retrospective, Porcupine Tree's Dark Side of the Moon
. This was their first their breakout album, and it was highly progressive and psychedelic, just like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
. The songs flow together, they are heavily psychedelic, rhythm-driven, and all hold their own in the end. From the beginning, the album kicks off with a bang with Even Less
, which is an incredible, progressive epic that is one of the best openers to an album of all time. Or, of course there's the catchy, upbeat, psychedelic Piano Lessons
to please your musical tastes, or there's the solemn, lonely Don't Hate Me
. There's something for everyone on Stupid Dream
, as the songs are varied, different, and all hold their own with their unique, different musical styles and tempos.
This album features, perhaps, the best Porcupine Tree song ever created, Even Less
. It is highly progressive, psychedelic, harder, and a bit more atmospheric than the typical Steven Wilson-produced track. The keyboards and synthesizers add a nice atmosphere to the chorus, and the song's rhythm changes work wonders for Stupid Dream
's epic. But that's not what makes the song that good, it'd have to be the song's guitar solo at the end. Starting off with an echoing, feedback-driven guitar noise, the guitars flow into a nice, psychedelic, atmospheric, and trippy solo that would impress Pink Floyd. But make no mistake-the album is not a one hit wonder. The first two songs pack a wallop, as Piano Lessons
is another incredible track with relaxing guitar tones and parts, atmospheric and psychedelic choruses, and layered vocals work wonders for another one of the album's best songs.
That's still not all to be found, as the first two tracks would have made me quite happy; Don't Hate Me
's solemn soundscapes, relaxed noises and vocals, urges to be a Radiohead sound-alike. The album's variety is quickly found as the album flows into the echoing, yet a bit heavier This Is No Rehearsal
without even a simple filler track to seperate the two. The tracks flow together excellently, and there's no issue. This Is No Rehearsal
is no passover, either, as the song's chorus, feel-good atmospherics, and the guitar solo is excellent in the middle of the song. The song changes tempos, rhythms, and dynamics quickly, although kind of giving the song a multiple-personality disorder. Stranger by the Minute
is the strangest, most psychedelic track on the album with its guitar riffs in the background, the flowing, layered vocals, and the acoustic guitar rhythm behind the electric guitars.
This album is excellent, as is definately a must have for any Progressive Rock fan. The album's variety, emotion, soundscapes, atmospherics, and experimental parts work wonder for the album, as they all mix well with Steven Wilson's Radiohead-like vocals with layers upon layers of vocal tracks on top of them. Stupid Dream
deserved to be the band's breakout success, and even though Wilson's pretentious, yet depressing lyrics aren't my favorite, the emotion manages to capture me and not let me go. This album just shows that all self-indulgent, self-produced music doesn't have to be bad-in fact, they sometimes form one of the best Progressive Rock bands of all time.
Don't Hate Me