Porcupine Tree
Lightbulb Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (60 Reviews)
October 10th, 2013 | 37 replies | 751 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All of the rest will flow...

Lightbulb Sun marks the solid continuation of Stupid Dream’s sound remaining very poppy and very accessible. While it may not be anywhere near as consistent as Stupid Dream, the album has its fair share of gems that make up for the album’s shortcomings. Unfortunately, the middle section of the album is extremely boring and it leaves much more to be desired considering the sheer potential of other songs on the record. Despite the blatantly mundane nature of some of the tracks on Lightbulb Sun, it is still another solid entry into the Porcupine Tree discography that will surely impress lovers of the Stupid Dream sound.

The inconsistencies of the record are crammed into the first half of the album. Thankfully, the album starts off great with Wilson’s brilliantly unusual lyrics and some fantastic guitar work in the title track. Sadly, the album drips in quality after the title track when we come to How Is Your Life Today? How Is Your Life Today is nothing more than a painfully dull piano driven track about a break up. The entire album may be about break ups, but some of the more masterful tracks on here handle the content better than this track. After How Is Your Life Today we come to Four Chords That Made a Million. Wilson repeats the title line over and over again and it is a love or hate song because it is catchy, but some could find the line being repeated extremely tiresome after a while. Thankfully, the quality begins to increase once we get to shesmovedon. It is far from the best track on the album because the first half is quite plain, but the second half redeems the entire song with an incredible guitar solo outro.

The rest of the album is smooth sailing from here on out. Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth before It Is Recycled is the most intriguing song on the album because it features two songs in one. The first part is Wilson recalling a childhood memory of a girl that he once cared about and then it changes into something drastically different. A man begins to preach about how planet earth is dying because of our consumerism and how we have one chance to leave before it is too late. It’s strange how the band chose to not spilt these parts up into two songs because they are totally different, but it surprisingly works seamlessly either way. After this track we begin the get into the more masterful songs on the album beginning with The Rest Will Flow.

The Rest Will Flow is an infectiously catchy song with beautiful instrumentals that have an amazing radio friendly appeal. After The Rest Will Flow the album begins the get more experimental and progressive with Hatesong. The song is without a doubt one of the most memorable songs on the album due to its memorable guitar work scattered throughout the entire song. The band’s musicianship really shines on this song and the musicianship only gets better as we come to the best three songs on the album.

Where We Would Be is one of the most beautiful songs on the album boasting its incredible soaring acoustic guitar riff. To top it all off Wilson delivers the most relatable lyrics on the album and an extremely experimental guitar solo near the end that really gives you goose bumps. The album also ends on a beautiful note and melancholy note with Feel So Low. However, the real masterpiece of the album and one of the best songs Porcupine Tree has released in the past fourteen years is Russia on Ice.

It is in this song that the Pink Floyd influence of the band is extremely evident. The first half of the song is incredibly psychedelic with a simple yet complex riff, fantastic bass, and an epic drumming performance from Chris Maitland. The song then changes into something much heavier and it is the first evidence of the band changing into a more progressive metal direction. Clocking in at thirteen minutes, the song is a masterpiece all the way through. Your mouth will drop to the floor and you will be stunned.

The album may be inconsistent, but the amazing songs make up for the lackluster nature of some of the lesser songs. Anyone who enjoyed Stupid Dream will surely love LightBulb Sun. The album has many moments of genuine heartfelt emotion that is also relatable. Be rest assured the album starts strong and ends strong so definitely do not pass this up.



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user ratings (1103)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish users could give ratings other than 3.5s or 4s cause this is more in the 3.7-3.8 range for me. Sorry if it's more tbt like, but it just worked out that way when I was writing it :D

Digging: Opeth - Blackwater Park

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013



5610 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album and my first contact with the band.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

D3rF31
October 10th 2013



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of my favorite from porcupine tree.

I tend to find them depressing sometimes and this album have a kind of upbeat vibe to it. It's a breeze of fresh air in a discography plague with a lot of albums with a melancholic tone.

A fun read and a good review, thank you.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. I enjoy the depressing feel to their latest albums but it' nice to have an upbeat vibe every now and then.

D3rF31
October 10th 2013



27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. porcupine tree is such a great band.

I think i read somwhere that they are on hiatus, so in the meantime we just have to hope that steven wilson will put other excellent solo album like the raven that refused to sing.

That album blew me away, so good!

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haven't heard his solo stuff but I plan on trying the album in the future.

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7824 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favorite PT album along with Fear of a Blank Planet. Also, really nice review, pos :]

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot man!

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7824 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's kinda funny, I have 5 of PT's albums 4.5'd but none of them 5'd :P Still love 'em though, they were one of my early childhood bands and one of the first prog bands I ever listened to

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Early childhood wow. I was stuck with Bon Jovi haha. I have In Absentia 5'd and none of their stuff has topped it since I started listening to them.

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7824 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I listened to some interesting music as a kid, haha. I listened to classic rock like Bon Jovi, Journey, and Queen, but then also listened to bands like Porcupine Tree, Death, and Behold... The Arctopus. Just a really weird combo :3

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7824 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh, and I listened to progressive rock bands like King Crimson, Rush, and ELP as well

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was pretty much all stuff my mom listened to like Bon Jovi, Matchbx 20, and Daughtry cause I was in the car with her the most. When I got into middle school I started to develop a taste of my own.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



14482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

four chords that made a million is probably one of the most boring songs ive ever heard, some good ones in there though, nice rev

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

NeroCorleone80
October 10th 2013



26788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Four Chords is def the weakest on here. Album is tied with Stupid Dream for best PT

Digging: Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks menawati! And yea four chords is really weak

TriangularDuck
October 10th 2013



84 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

man when I was a kid it was all Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater, and Porcupine Tree all the time. 13 year old me would think I listen to a bunch of crappy crap now

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's some solid childhood music.

Rowan5215
October 12th 2013



19878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Floyd reference fuck yeah
This is probably my favourite PT I've jammed so far. A couple things about the review, you need to work a bit on the flow of your sentences and where you break up paragraphs. You say that the middle section of the album is really boring but then you say that tracks 2 and 3 are the bad ones and they aren't really the middle; just a nitpick. Otherwise, good work man.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2013



7127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. I know I really need to work on my flow. I've improved immensely though. The beginning of Russia on Ice is so Floyd haha



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