Reviewed by Others on 25 Oct 2001
- - Review/Comments by Uwe - -
"The last thing a progressive rock fan wants a band to do is progress"
Paul Stump "The Music's All That Matters"
Stupid Dream was the band's first album on the Snapper Music label and it leads to the biggest shift in sound of all Porcupine Tree albums. For many die-hard PT fans, this drift to more song oriented material (commercial!?!?) was the result of pressure from the new record company. But, according to Steven Wilson, the band completed the album long before they signed to Snapper Music and it was more a natural movement away from the more experimental, abstract stuff.
A big advantage of the new record deal was the fact, that the album could be buyed in many more record shops now and so the popularity of the band continualy growed.
So let's focus on the music and for me there isn't much to complain about. The album opens with
Even Less and this is really a killer track. This track exists since 1997 as a 15 minute song, but the band (unfortunately) decided to include only the first 7 minutes on the album (BTW the full song could be heard on the album Recordings, released 2001). Next comes Piano Lessons, the fist of three singles from this album, besides Stranger By The Minute and Pure Narcotic. While Piano Lessons is really a good song, the other two tracks didn't do much for me. They are too simple to gain my attention for a longer period of time. The other outstanding tracks on this album are IMHO Don't Hate Me (with saxophone by Theo Travis), A Smart Kid (although the guitar solo at the end could really be much longer), Tinto Brass and Stop Swimming.
If you're new to Porcupine Tree I would suggest Stupid Dream and/or Lightbulb Sun as your starting point, as I know many people who became PT fans after hearing these albums.
For those pre Stupid Dream PT-fans, there are also great tracks that can be found on this album.
If this is classified as commercial, why is it so much better than the crap played on MTV and on your local radio station? This isn't native PROG, as this isn't Porcupine Trees intention. It is simply great music, highly recommended to all music lovers.