Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fear of a blank planet

It has taken quite some time for me to really appreciate the grandeur of Porcupine Tree's 2007 album Fear of a blank planet. After dozens of listens I now rank it firmly in my top10 albums of all time - the six songs all scoring at least 9/10, but in reality forming one composition of 50 minutes where the sum is definitely greater than the part. The inspiration for the album was the Bret Easton Ellis novel Lunar Park, dealing with the problems of contemporary youth. The novel is told from the perspective of the father, but in an unexpected twist, Wilson constructed the album from the point of view of the son. The album opener and title song is in a hard-hitting nervous tempo that immediately sets the scene in lyrics such as "Xbox is a god to me - A finger on the switch - My mother is a bitch - Father gave up ever trying to talk to me"or the catchy refrain "How can I be sure I'm here? The pills that I've been taking confuse me - I need to know that someone sees that there's nothing left, I simply am not here". Bleak but beautiful, and keeping up the Porcupine Tree tradition of very strong album openers.
Art Rock score: 9/10 (very strong song, one of 650 best songs of all time)