Porcupine Tree
Stupid Dream


4.5
superb

Review

by Porter W. Richards USER (62 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2007 | 611 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

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.

DOWNLOAD:
Even Less
Piano Lessons
Don't Hate Me



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user ratings (1269)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
JAD
August 23rd 2007


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, although I think you kind of undersold Porcupine Tree and Opeth's fanbase. They both have pretty size-able followings. Anyways, quality album. I love Porcupine Tree, although I hate most prog.

Iai
Emeritus
August 23rd 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Where bands like Porcupine Tree and Muse dominate British radio

lmfao wut

Dude, PTree are just as minor here as they are in America.

tribestros
August 23rd 2007


918 Comments


Well, maybe in England they are big, and honestly, no one I know had heard of Porcupine Tree before I found them on Sputnikmusic, their albums are never featured in our record shops, same with Opeth.

tribestros
August 23rd 2007


918 Comments


I thought Lazarus was a big hit.

Iai
Emeritus
August 23rd 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nope. They've never charted here.

Aficionado
August 23rd 2007


1027 Comments


If you don't know about what your writing, don't write it. If you didn't know if Porcupine tree is on the radio then I don't see why you would put it in your review.

JAD
August 23rd 2007


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, maybe in England they are big, and honestly, no one I know had heard of Porcupine Tree before I found them on Sputnikmusic, their albums are never featured in our record shops, same with Opeth.


I thought they sold more in England, but either way you can find Porcupine Tree and Opeth records in Best Buys, Borders, and other mainstream chains were I live.This Message Edited On 08.23.07

Yazz_Flute
August 23rd 2007


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, i think you may have used the word "psychadelic" a little too much, but pretty solid other than that. I want this album, but the only PT albums my record store seems to have are In Absentia through Fear of aBlank Planet, and they are the only PT albums i own cuz of this =/

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Iai
Emeritus
August 23rd 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll vote for you, anyhow. One cultural mistake doesn't make a bad review.

tribestros
August 23rd 2007


918 Comments


Fixed.

This album is pretty psychedelic though.

btw, Welcome back Iai.

jrowa001
August 23rd 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album and great review. quick question, is Metanoia any good? its the next PT album i want to get but i havent heard much discussion on it

Aficionado
August 23rd 2007


1027 Comments


Btw, I didn't negg you. Iai, when are you going to start reviewing again?


Iai
Emeritus
August 23rd 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I put a review up two days ago. :-/

The Door Mouse
August 23rd 2007


2092 Comments


Btw, I didn't negg you. Iai, when are you going to start reviewing again?


Ok yeah, just bluntly tell him that you negged it without reason. This is a good review, not great but certainly not neg worthy. I don't mind of you do neg it but please leave a reason.

Yeah so good review but you should use different adjectives. You saying atmospheric and psychedelic all of the time gets a little repetitive. But otherwise good review.

tribestros
August 23rd 2007


918 Comments


I don't care if you negged me.

Mr Fahrenheit
August 23rd 2007


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an awesome CD, A Smart Kid is one of my favorite PT songs

jrowa001
August 23rd 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so does anybody know if Metanoia is good or not?

Skyler
August 23rd 2007


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You really need to stop trying to lump bands into certain genres. Decent review otherwise.

antihippy
August 24th 2007


696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best PT album imo.

Altmer
August 24th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is a badass record. Like, badass. I love this band and particularly this album.

Oh and mention that Tinto Brass is a rocking instrumental, Pure Narcotic has really cool acoustic strumming mixed with a glockenspiel (and even references Radiohead lyrically!), and the awesome bassline of Slave Called Shiver.

This is one of my favourite buys this year. I do not regret it one minute (even after hating it the first time.)



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