Rating:
8.8
Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun
22 May 2000


Disc I
01. LightBulb Sun
02. How Is Your Life Today?
03. Four Chords That Made A Million
04. Shesmovedon
05. Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled
06. The Rest Will Flow
07. Hatesong
08. Where We Would Be
09. Russia On Ice
10. Feel So Low

Disc II [Remastered edition, DVD-A]
01. LightBulb Sun
02. How Is Your Life Today?
03. Four Chords That Made A Million
04. Shesmovedon
05. Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled
06. The Rest Will Flow
07. Hatesong
08. Where We Would Be
09. Russia On Ice
10. Feel So Low
11. Disappear
12. Buying New Soul
13. Cure For Optimism
+ Original 2000 Mix
+ Lyrics
+ Photogallery

Disc III [Pre-order bonus CD: Transmission 8.1]
01. Novak
02. Buying New Soul [instrumental backing track]


I recall buying this album while staying in England for three weeks over the summer. I was visiting a mall in the East End of London and I found a CD store, which I expected to have nothing but the usual mainstream material sold here in America. However while it did sell the usual mainstream albums that I don't particularly care for, there was also a more diverse collection of artists I enjoyed. One of them was Porcupine Tree, which comes from England so it was almost expected that I would find some of their material lying around there. I was looking through the collection of albums they had by the band, and most of them were the experimental/pop albums made before In Absentia. It was in that moment I discovered Lightbulb Sun in the middle and without hearing anything from the album prior, I bought it without a moment's hesitation, considering how much I already loved the band's material. I always liked the cover to this album, and was interested in hearing what exactly the band's music sounded like before In Absentia and needless to say, it was a wonderful experience listening to this album.

Steven Wilson has always been one of my favorite vocalists and he of course shines on this album. The album's "poppy" sound really suits Wilson's soft vocal style, giving off an extremely similar vibe to what I may hear from The Beatles or any other band of that nature. He has a very personable cadence to how he sings, allowing for people to easily replicate it while singing a Porcupine Tree vocal cover or what have you, however it will never sound as honest or genuine compared to the way Steven delivers his lyrics.

The music is for the most part played in a very "pop-rock" style with frequent usage of the acoustic guitar and touches of violin, again recalling pop music of the 1960's a'la The Beach Boys. This includes songs such as the title track, "Shesmovedon", and especially "The Rest Will Flow". However it is from this album with songs like "Hatesong" and "Russia On Ice" that we hear the band experiment with the more metallic style that they will fully embrace with the succeeding albums.

Lightbulb Sun was a great album to precede what many people to consider to be the band's magnum opus with In Absentia, which leaves this album sorely under-appreciated in a way. This shows the band experimenting with their pop-rock sound, testing out its boundaries, and coming up with some of their greatest songs to date, most especially "Russia on Ice". Highly recommended for all fans of Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson's solo work.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Porcupine Tree
Album: Lightbulb Sun


 


written by Dentura | 02.10.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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IronAngel - 02.10.2012 at 20:09  
This may be my favorite PT album. The songwriting and overall mood is pretty great. Russia On Ice and Shesmovedon are the standout tracks that come to mind when I look at the track list. It's been a few years since I last listened to the album though, may have to give it another spin.
R'Vannith - 02.10.2012 at 20:22  
I've always preferred this one to In Absentia, to most of their discography actually. The Beach Boys is an interesting comparison, can't say I've ever made that connection. Nice review!
Dentura - 02.10.2012 at 21:43  
Written by R'Vannith on 02.10.2012 at 20:22

I've always preferred this one to In Absentia, to most of their discography actually. The Beach Boys is an interesting comparison, can't say I've ever made that connection. Nice review!


Thank you! I figured with there being no review, some words had to be said about this album, and yes, some of the songs on here remind me of something released off of the Pet Sounds album.
Passenger - 03.10.2012 at 00:08  
It is also one of my, if not my favourite Porcupine Tree album, The Rest Will Flow and Where We Would Be are so moving. Love every second of it.
R'Vannith - 03.10.2012 at 13:52  
Written by Dentura on 02.10.2012 at 21:43

Thank you! I figured with there being no review, some words had to be said about this album, and yes, some of the songs on here remind me of something released off of the Pet Sounds album.


Most definitely, it needed a well worded review to minimise the chances that it gets overlooked. It's clear that it has been on this site to some extent, the number of votes for this one is less than half of what there are for In Absentia!
Andresopeth - 04.10.2012 at 04:01  
I definitely love this album, but on the previous ones to In Absentia, Signify makes the difference on me.
Nice review indeed, one of my favorites songs in this album is "Russia On Ice" and "The Rest Will Flow" and sincerely before reading you guys i thought that this was an underrated song, glad it is not that way ;-)
tea[m]ster - 04.10.2012 at 05:45  
I like "Four Chords..." the best. The premise makes me smile Great album, thanks for the review.
Dentura - 04.10.2012 at 05:50  
Written by tea[m]ster on 04.10.2012 at 05:45

I like "Four Chords..." the best. The premise makes me smile Great album, thanks for the review.


I had forgotten to mention that song while writing this review. It's a clever and fun song!
tea[m]ster - 04.10.2012 at 05:55  
Written by Dentura on 04.10.2012 at 05:50

It's a clever and fun song!


Not to mention it has a very catchy riff!
BloodTears - 06.10.2012 at 12:44  
I agree that the comparison with In Absentia leaves this album underappreciated. But this is amazingly good as well. I think that In Absentia will always be considered that breakthrough album for them and Wilson always says it's the album he's most proud of.

I cherish Lightbulb Sun like a fangirl! It was one of the first PT albums I really really enjoyed and the collection of songs in it it's just mindblowing. I wish they would play the title track more live.
Dentura - 06.10.2012 at 20:51  
Written by BloodTears on 06.10.2012 at 12:44


I wish they would play the title track more live.


Yeah, I really love the title track. I hope I'm able to see them live myself.
BloodTears - 07.10.2012 at 20:33  
Quote:

Yeah, I really love the title track. I hope I'm able to see them live myself.


You never saw them live? Highly recommended of course Although sadly, I don't see that happening in the near future as they are virtually numb with Wilson so into his solo work. It saddens me really.

They were amazing both times I saw them.
Dentura - 08.10.2012 at 11:31  
Quote:
Written by BloodTears on 07.10.2012 at 20:33



You never saw them live? Highly recommended of course Although sadly, I don't see that happening in the near future as they are virtually numb with Wilson so into his solo work. It saddens me really.

They were amazing both times I saw them.


Yeah, I would really like to see them whenever I get the chance. I'll keep a little bit of hope that something will happen later on which will make Steven Wilson think "hey, I might as well make another PT album and tour sometime". I'd actually be interested in seeing his solo shows as well, even though I'm less familiar with his solo work.

Glad you had fun!

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