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Stupid Dream

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Stupid Dream
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  • In Absentia [European Edition]
Total price: £37.17
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Mar. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Snapper
  • ASIN: B00000IAH0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,573 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This review is based upon the original release of this classic Prog Rock album, Stupid Dream.

Opening with the anthemic hard hitting yet simply constructed "Even Less" (rumoured to be presented in full fourteen minute version on this disc), the album moves on to softer terrain such as the melody-lush "Piano Lessons" and "Pure-Narcotic". These light-indie tinged classics present the true radio-friendly side of Porcupine Tree possibly in its peak and purest form.

The album's centre-piece "Don't Hate Me" stands as a true Pink Floyd tribute with the ending outro section sounding similar to several Floyd classics.

"This is No Reheasal" and "Stranger by the Minute" follow more of the Radio designed mould before the instrumental "Tinto Brass" kicks in, very interestingly formed, Tinto Brass could well be the best track on the album but for Even Less (Pt.I, seven minutes edit on the original releases).

Finally, "Stop Swimming" serves as a gentle closer to a well crafted finely mixed album of melody, hints of prog and hard rock riffs. For Prog and Porcupine Tree fans this is a must and truly demonstrates the bands evolution.
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Format: Audio CD
Along with Lightbulb Sun, this album tends to get a bit of a bashing amongst the PT faithful. It does retain a far more poppy sound, and Wilson himself acknowledged that on the pair of albums, he was focused more on the songs themselves, rather than how they fitted together into an album. Nevertheless, any fans of Porcupine Tree's lighter sounds will certainly find themselves right at home here, and I honestly think that this is one of PT's strongest albums, in terms of depth! Rarely will you find a poor track, and the songs are great to listen to, particularly when in a mellow mood. Edwin's bass is ever-present yet quietly dignified whilst driving the songs along, Harrison's drumming is as excellent as ever, and Barbieri really steps to the fore with some wonderfully constructed piano pieces and soundscapes. Whilst nowhere near as intense as In Absentia or Deadwing, as bizarre as Up The Downstair or On The Sunday of Life, Stupid Dream still manages to weigh in heavily. I'll go through the songs, and give a few opinions on them, in the hope that I can give a better insight into this excellent album!

-The album kicks off with 'Even Less', widely regarded as a fan favourite, as well as often being in PT's live setlists when on tour. The melodramatic opening riff is unique, and the song is very competently written. An excellent opening!

-Piano Lessons follows this, far more poppy, and perhaps summing up the album on the whole. If you compare the steady rhythm to numerous pop songs, you'd probably get a similar type of sound, but they make it work here. Bizarre lyrics, but that's nothing new. :P

-The title track is next, and is a quick 30 second instrumental filler piece, Nothing special, though it links the tracks either side of it together nicely. Very ambient.
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By A Customer on 25 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
Having been a rock music fan since the late 70's I had become a little jaded until I heard this release. I bought this album off the back of a review and would have to say this is possibly one of the most evocative records I have ever heard. Swirling guitars, excellent hooks and strong melodies combine for a truely glorious experience. Some say Pink Floyd influences which may be marginally true but, frankly, who cares when the music is this good. I have subsequently bought Lightbulb Sun and Signify by the same band but find this the most accessible to the uninitiated. Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I LOVE this album. Simple as that. If you are new to Porcupine Tree (I heard 'In Absentia' a month ago and demanded to know who it was) then this is the one to get first. In Absentia is a bit annoying in that it suddenly goes into thrashy bouts, when actually I was enjoying the track for it's more moody chillout vibes. No such difficulties with 'Stupid Dream'.
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Format: Audio CD
It seemed as if this was the most likely step for Porcupine Tree to take after Signify. Signify was more sing along than previous albums and in Stupid Dream this has been taken a step further. Don't get me wrong you won't hear a "wonder wall" but I personally prefer some of the more instrumental creations from PT. This said I think Stupid Dream is a superb album along with Lightbulb sun - if you like one you will definitely like the other. The supposedly ironic cover back fires slightly as Stupid Dream is possibly an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, maybe the band do dream of bigger things. People often compare PT to Pink Floyd, I can see why - Porcupine Tree write an album not a collection of songs with a hit at track 1 and another at track 7. So if you like to really listen to music rather than just putting something on then give it a go.
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Format: Audio CD
At last Porcupine Tree are enjoying something like the recognition they deserve after signing to Lava and releasing the excellent "In Absentia" album early last year. A new album is due in a few months. But for me "Stupid Dream" marks an important turning point for the band and especially for Steven Wilson as songwriter. This was the first album where there was a completely integrated band sound and the material was more consistently song based, apart from the one instrumental piece, "Tinto Brass". The results are an exceptional collection of what could be called English melancholia. Something the likes of Pink Floyd, Anathema and Pineapple Thief do so well. The songs are superbly crafted and performed. Drummer Chris Maitland is particularly impressive throughout. His drumming is precise and detailed. His metronomic cymbal work on "Stop Swimming" is a joy to hear and carries the track along beautifully. The use of a string section throughout is also inspired, especially on the aforementioned "Stop Swimming" where a wonderful elegiac, almost dreamlike feeling is produced.
The opening track, "Even Less" is superb with slide guitar taking us to crunching riffing by Wilson. The lengthy "Don't Hate Me" has excellent flute and sax playing by Theo Travis. My particular favourite is "A Smart Kid", with it's lyrics of a sole survivor of a post-holocaust Earth. This has a fantastic trademark Wilson guitar solo at the end.
This is such a mature effort from the band. The following "Lightbulb Sun" is nearly equally as good and "In Absentia" shows a band continually developing and changing. But "Stupid Dream" is special and shows Wilson breaking the band free from the reigns of being pigeonholed as prog rock or psychedelic, into something clearly there own.
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