Its 2 in the morning and I am dead drunk. I feel like I could write this review now. This, according to me, is a landmark in modern progressive rock. This is one of the most evocative albums I have heard, that are consistently good throughout. Also, Porcupine Tree is one of my most favorite artists ever. That should tell you, that I am gonna say later or sooner that this sounds right, absolutely right. However, I would like to give a short description of the music here, so that you will be tempted to go out and download this album off the net.
This is the most accessible album that Porcupine Tree has ever made, I guess, because the songs are shorter and more, well, accessible. Porcupine Tree is still roaming around somewhere in the arena of progressive rock, however, it would be more apt to call it progressive pop, since the songs have a lotta, and I mean, a lot of hooks sprayed around. And all the songs are good. Not only are the songs good, but the whole album is meant to be listened to in one sitting, it gives off an aura, it is an incredible experience. Porcupine Tree has mastered the art of creating a cohesive album with In Absentia.
Porcupine Tree’s music has always appealed to me, just because the mood and emotions of the music is something I love. I love their mellow and soulful renditions, their harsh but beautiful love songs, their songs about alienation and the future destruction of the planet, rape and so on and so forth. There is something unique about PT, I assure you. Whoever has ever heard of Porcupine Tree, has liked them, in my experience. You could almost say that they are the modern day Pink Floyd. Of course, that might be because a lot of their sound is influenced by the great Floyd, their haunting choruses about something that has been lost forever or something beautiful that has gone ugly………they all come from Pink Floyd, somewhat. Moreover, they have a psychedelic sound, which again screams Floyd.
My favorites? Almost the whole of the album, but if had to name some songs which I think are gonna turn out to be all time classics, then my picks would be the opener “Black Eyes”, what with its thunderous opening and the quiet and sad chorus and verse which follows. “Trains” is another song which is gonna be a classic baby, what with its great guitar section and the background sound effect of clapping. “The Sound Of Muzak” has one of the best lyrics I have ever heard, something which I can relate to…”One of the wonders of the world is coming down, and no one cares” …….”Music of the future will not entertain, it is only meant to neutralize your brain”….excellent, excellent.
There is not much of a variation of mood; the whole of the album has one overarching theme…somber and sometimes extremely dark. But if you are drunk and in the mood for some mellow but rocking music, then this fits the bill. At least the 21st century can claim to have given birth to at least one memorable band…………and one most memorable album…….El Bajista……I would like one more review of this album from you..I have left a lot out……..
IN UNISON – El Bajista
I’m only too glad to review this after Baba, though I tend to think reviewing PT is my sole prerogative! Since this has already been reviewed, I wouldn’t like to go through the pain of phrasing the whole thing to make it look like a paragraph. I’ll just make a few points agreeing/disagreeing with Baba.
– I don’t agree with Baba that this Progressive Pop. Hooks don’t automatically make it pop, only more listenable.
– The lyrics are extremely contemporary. There is something very zeitgeist-y about Porcupine Tree, that makes it seem utterly unfair that they aren’t the biggest band around today, instead of eergh….Linkin Park.
– The acoustic guitar intro of Trains seems like- don’t laugh at me- the wind blowing through the grass. And yes, to correct my colleague Baba T, that middle section is Banjo and not guitar, with the clapping effect. But great music. How do they think of this music?
– The melodies are bloody compelling. Compelling enough for me to think that it’s impossible for someone not to be taken in by gently swirling vortex that is Porcupine Tree’s music.
– I completely agree with Baba that In Absentia and Fear of a Blank Planet are destined to be absolute classics.
– The dynamics of what makes a song compelling seem to be intimately understood by this band. They don’t seem to be shirking from their primary purpose of making good songs or seem to assume that their indulgences will be tolerated (Dream Theater, I’m looking at you).
– High production values are a part of the band’s songs, not a mask to cover up poor songs and halfwit tunes.
– And yes, I too relate to the lyrics of the Sound of Muzak. And the bassline in the chorus is effing brilliant. As is the second guessing stop-and-start bassline on Gravity Eyelids. This is a tight rhythm section.
– PT don’t seem to be consumed by the musically equivalent instinct to……how do I put this civilly……err…..get their dicks out and wave them at the world the first chance they get. By that I mean they don’t start soloing the moment the vocals stop. No mean feat for progressive band, mind you.
Pardon the fact that this isn’t an article like piece, but I think Baba already did ample justice to that job.
Liked this double feature? Check out our other PORCUPINE TREE reviews HERE.
Yet more PROGRESSIVE/ART/PSYCHEDELIC reviews HERE.