Author Topic: Porcupine Tree - In Absentia  (Read 690 times)

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Offline Ibun

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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
« on: July 20, 2005, 12:12:04 am »
Album: In Absentia
Artist: Porcupine Tree
Release Date: September 24, 2002

Track Listing

1. Blackest Eyes (4:23)
2. Trains (5:56)
3. Lips of Ashes (4:39)
4. The Sound of Muzak (4:59)
5. Gravity Eyelids (7:56)
6. Wedding Nails (6:33)
7. Prodigal (5:32)
8. .3 (5:25)
9. The Creator Has a Mastertape (5:21)
10. Heartattack in a Layby (4:15)
11. Strip the Soul (7:21)
12. Collapse the Light Into Earth (5:52)

Total Time: 66:09


- Steven Wilson / guitars and vocals
- Richard Barbirri / keyboards
- Colin Edwin / bass
- Gavin Harrison / drums

Unlike many of their previous releases, this album focuses less on long, ambient sounds, and more on lyrics and harder melodies. I'd say out of all their albums, this one would be the easiest for the casual listener to get into. Well, more specifically, Wedding Nails, The Creator Has a Mastertape, and Strip the Soul are the "rough" songs on it, featuring harder guitar riffs and such. The rest of the album is a bit softer; but there is still a defined sound.

The song that stands out most, of course, is the Sound of Muzak. With it's brilliant lyrics, some of the best I've ever heard, and melodius harmony vocals in the chorus, it stands out to me.

The music of rebellion
Makes you wanna rage
But it's made by millionaires
Who are nearly twice your age

I'd say that is a pretty obvious shot at bands like Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, and all such similar bands, whose music has such little meaning, and yet people mindlessly follow it as if their words are the most genious thing. Popular music, in general, has always been rather poor. It really is a shame to see what the music industry is doing to music. They'll take a few young people, dress them up in the hippest clothes, and make them spew out the same generic crap as 50 other bands. Anyways, went off topic there, I find it amazing that they fit that whole sentiment into one song.

Now, on to the not as amazing; but still very good songs. The first track, Blackest Eyes. While it starts of slow, it quickly draws you in with the catchy guitar. Again, as with the Sound of Muzak, it features harmony vocals in the chorus. The verses, as always, are beautifully vocalized. Nothing special about this song; but no less excellent.

Trains is a fun song. Again, it starts off quiet and slow; but picks up tempo. They way I describe it is care-free. It reminds me of early Oasis, aside from the vocals. The melody is very similar to their stuff. It makes me think of traveling down the highway with the windows down, just crusing with your best friends.

Lips of Ashes and Gravity Eyelids seem to go hand-in-hand as the two of the jam songs on the cd. Lips is much more mellow, it starts off with a chimey sound. It stays very peaceful and calm throughout. Eyelids is reminiscint of Dream Theater, with the hard solo in the middle, surrounded by a easier beginning and end. Both songs are okay, but not my favorites.

Not much to say about Wedding Nails. It's one really long guitar solo. A pretty decent guitar solo.

Prodigal is an interesting philosophical song. As the lyrics suggest, all good things usually come to an end. Whether it's parting ways with childhood friends, coming down after a metaphorical (or literal) high, losing faith in religion, life always has curveballs to throw your way. As the chorus says you just have to roll with the punches, and let the bad times pass.

.3 starts off with three minutes of pure jam, which gets kind of repetitive sadly. It is followed by short bit of singing, and then it goes back to about a minute and a half more of jam. Probably my least favorite song on the CD, it's, at best, decent.

The Creator has a Master Tape has vocals much like you would find in darkwave bands like London After Midnight, while the melody is more goth rock, like Joy Division. An interesting; but satisfying combination.

I'd say, of all the tracks, Heartattack in a Layby, is the, for lack of a better word, creepiest song on the album. Especially near the end of the song, where the same words are sung repeatedly; but the vocals are off by a second or two. The lyrics as well, are quite depressing, though maybe a little hard to understand unless you read them. I dunno, for some reason this song just makes me think, about what my relationship with people are.

For some strange reason, despite having never been near the stuff, Strip the Soul just makes me think of an acid trip gone wrong. Where the user is having horrible hallucinations, and all the sounds surrounding him are jumbled together incoherently. In a way, it's kind of cool; but at the same time very frightening.

Another song of note, is Collapse the Light Into Earth. Probably the mellowest song on the album. Very chilling too. It was songs like this one, that got me initially hooked on the band. The kind that send shivers down your spine and give you goosebumps all over. Wilson has a way of singing that just hits me at the core. Really, that's all I can say about it, it's just hauntingly beautiful.

Final Score: 94/100