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Porcupine Tree - Up The Downstair CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.88 | 911 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The introduction is almost like if PT wouldn't like you to listen to their work but since it last for only less than a minute, you'd easily go over it. There will be several of these extremely short breaks on this album. I am not quite sure about their use. Anyway, the first of them will lead you to the synth-pop ..."Synesthesia". Not really brilliant, to say the least...

Things get better with "Always Never". Almost a hard song; heavy beat, calm vocals. It's not truely a memorable piece of mucic but just a good one. The first of this album which is a bit a deception so far.

The title track starts real bad : some electronic pop of the poorest vein. Synthetized vocals (which I really don't like) when featured. It'll get harder and much, much better after three minues (thank god !). It's an extremely repetitive number which unfortunely will bring us back to these horrible vocal moments later on. I have a rather mixed feeling about this song.

PT will go on with the same "from the outer world" type of feminine recitation during "Not Beautiful Anymore". I don't like these, at all. Fortunately, they are only an introduction to this very good fully psyche song. Wild rhythm. Hypnotic song. Great PT moment. But these recurrent vocals are really boring. These will be avoided during "Small Fish". Standard Floydian vocals, nice mood, great guitar : at last a PT song like I was expecting (but it only lasts for just over two minutes).

"Burning Sky" is a great trip (musically of course). Floyd on the hard side. Spacey, psychedelic, hard-rock (at times), truely rocking for the most of it. It will also featured some beautiful guitar breaks. The epic piece of this album is also the best number so far. A great and obsessing finale.

"Fadeaway" is also a very good number. Very straight-forward, guitar-oriented although backing keyboards are present as well of course. Very obsessional. Vocals are as they ought to be : smooth and from "human "origin. This album is saved by the last two tracks.

IMHHO, the best tracks of these sessions were left over and only released on the EP "Staircase Infinities". You can read the details under the appropriate entry if you want to. Fortunately for the PT fans, all the songs will be grouped in the remastered editon released in 2005.

Three stars as such. Four stars as the remastered edition.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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