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Steven Wilson n00bvivor: Stupid Dream - Round 2

Discussion in 'Forum Games' started by Mosh, Aug 27, 2016.

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vote for your LEAST favorite songs

  1. Even Less

    25.0%
  2. Piano Lessons

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Don't Hate Me

    37.5%
  4. Stranger By the Minute

    37.5%
  1. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Dark Matter is even better the second time. It's my favorite so far and the only song I've genuinely liked so far. More like these please.

    Also SW's tepid vocals actually work in this song's favor for once.
     
  2. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Eliminated
    Sleep of No Dreaming
    Every Home Is Wired

    Promoted
    Signify
    Waiting (Phase One)
    Dark Matter


    Stupid Dream

    After the release of Signify, Steven Wilson traded in his copy of Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful of Secrets for a copy of Radiohead’s OK Computer. Porcupine Tree would never be the same again. The band continued moving away from their psychedelic roots, especially with Wilson taking more interest in vocal based pop groups such as The Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. This album also continued the growing creative involvement of other members in the band. While Stevie still wrote all the songs and produced the album, there are more songs highlighting the full band and less solo songs. The instrumental track Tinto Brass is also credited to the entire band.

    The band also took a slightly different approach with the recording. Where Signify was recorded in parts in various studios and at different times, Stupid Dream was recorded all at once in one studio. The album also had a higher budget, allowing a higher quality production and even a string section for some songs. The band even got to shoot a music video for the song Piano Lessons.

    In many ways, Stupid Dream is a transitional album for Porcupine Tree. It’s the beginning of the Porcupine Tree sound that, for many fans, has propelled them to the top tier of modern prog rock. It’s a slightly more commercial sound than later albums, but it sets the groundwork for what’s to come. It also marked an increase in popularity for the band. For the release of Stupid Dream they signed to Snapper/K-Scope and embarked on a tour of Europe and America. The singles from the album even received some radio play. Stupid Dream went on to become the band's highest selling album so far.

    Stupid Dream has received high praise from critics and fans alike and is widely regarded as one of the band’s best. Listeners were welcome to the more concise and song oriented theme of the album. From the Dutch Progressive Rock Page: “"People who love The Tree for their long, experimental and instrumental compositions might be put off by this new album. On the other hand, those who preferred the vocal tracks will probably find a lot of beauties on this new CD...Still a brilliant piece of work though."

    Release Information: As far as I know, all versions of this album have the same music. It has been remastered twice, most recently in 2015. There are also 5.1 and DVD-A versions. The 2015 version is probably fine. Steven Wilson is a great producer and usually knows what he’s doing with these remaster projects.
     
  3. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide A Bug

    Now we're talking. The first album I actually know to be listenable. Will vote later, but this time I really intend to vote. :)
     
  4. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Steven Wilson has a song called "Tinto Brass"? Wonder if he likes his earlier work or later work. :D
     
  5. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    In all seriousness, SW is a major film buff apparently. He's made comments about wanting to do his own film after the next solo album.
     
  6. Deus_Adrian

    Deus_Adrian Prince of the Final Frontier

    Admittedly the next two arent ones I've listened to a whole lot, so I will attempt to immerse myself in the coming weeks.
     
  7. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Waiting in line at the ending of time

    Here we go. The songs on Stupid Dream are much more straightforward, and the album as a whole is a drastic improvement from the early work. Some brief thoughts:

    Even Less - Decent tune. Not in my initial top 3 of this album, but it very well could be a grower. The last minute of random numbers brings it down a notch.
    Piano Lessons - Extremely catchy. One of the biggest highlights and definitely one to come back to.
    Stupid Dream - Obvious Vote
    Pure Narcotic - Nice acoustic song. Some cool vocal parts.
    Slave Called Shiver - Nice bass grove throughout. I'm digging it.
    Don't Hate Me - Reminds me of some of the later latter PT epics. It has a good atmosphere to it. The flute and saxophone parts add a unique touch.
    This Is No Rehearsal - Doesn't really stand out, but it's not bad.
    Baby Dream in Cellophane - Kind of odd, but for some reason I like it.
    Stranger by the Minute - Pretty damn good. One of the top songs of the album.
    A Smart Kid - Kind of eerie, like Baby Dream, but it does have some redeeming qualities. I'll probably vote for it next round if it's still around.
    Tinto Brass - Instrumental with psychedelic qualities that would fit much better on one of the previous albums. Vote
    Stop Swimming - Very soft, doesn't really go anywhere. Vote

    Overall the second half isn't quite as strong as the first half, but it's a very good album with some memorable songs. We can pretty much say that psychedelic/space rock period is over with, and we're on to more straightforward prog. (Is that an oxymoron? :p) Stupid Dream is the roots of the great Porcupine Tree music that's still to come.
     
    Mosh likes this.
  8. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Alright, now this is a step in the right direction! There's still nothing I flat out love here, but there isn't a single bad song on the whole album. I have a feeling that once I get to know the band more this album will be a grower. Some of it is a little too flat and uninteresting (in a sort of Noel Gallagher-but-bland kind of way), but nothing is unlistenable or annoying. Stevie is certainly gaining momentum as a songwriter and the brief heavier moments are quite nice. This will certainly be the first PT album that I don't delete from my iPod.

    Voting for:
    Stupid Dream
    Baby Dream in Cellophane
    A Smart Kid
    Tinto Brass (I really like much of it, but the SFX are annoying - especially that damned phone noise)
    Stop Swimming
     
  9. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Great album. Very little meandering. Mostly great tunes. I love Don't Hate Me. I know it from the EP he put out last year, but hearing the original was interesting.
     
  10. Shadow

    Shadow Deluxe Edition Staff Member

    Stupid Dream was a surprise for me when I first listened to it. I'd heard some earlier and some later Porcupine Tree, and this was quite different from either. There's an unusual amount of short pop numbers, some of them very good ("Piano Lessons", "Stranger by the Minute"), but also lots of moody bits that sound more like No-Man than anything else ("A Smart Kid", "Stop Swimming"). "Even Less" and "Don't Hate Me" are precursors to later prog outings, both relatively successful (there's a longer edit of the former on the Recordings complilation, if you're interested). The title track is of course a classic. Very good album, all in all.
     
  11. Deus_Adrian

    Deus_Adrian Prince of the Final Frontier

    I still havent listened to it. Having mucho computer problems lately.

    If you want to carry onto the next round no need wait for me.
     
  12. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Still waiting on @JudasMyGuide

    No hurry to get to the next round if you guys need more time
     
  13. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide A Bug

  14. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Waiting in line at the ending of time

  15. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Not 100% votes for Stupid Dream wut
     
  16. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Eliminated
    Stupid Dream
    Baby Dream In Cellophane
    A Smart Kid
    Tinto Brass
    Stop Swimming
     
  17. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Narcotic, Slave, Rehearsal
     
  18. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Waiting in line at the ending of time

    Voting for Even Less, which I want to like but it just isn't clicking, Slave, and Rehearsal.
     
  19. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    I'm gonna try to vote more often here and to analyze and stuff :p

    Even Less - This one is super enjoyable, by far the best song on the album. Pretty awesome main riff/solo. Can we agree that Stevie isn't really a good vocalist? I mean, he's not bad, but he's kind of bland and lacks identity.
    Piano Lessons - Kinda pop rocky in terms of atmosphere I'd say, but it's catchy. Again great lead guitar. Also kinda reminiscent of Sweet Home Alabama?
    Stupid Dream - Didn't even notice this one tbh.
    Pure Narcotic - While it's catchy, it doesn't really go anywhere. All buildup, no payoff.
    Slave Called Shiver - Riff that starts at 2:07 sounds like something Opeth would've recorded, reminiscent of some of their earlier stuff at least. OK song.
    Don't Hate Me - Don't like this one. Way too plodding and has a saxophone solo.
    This Is No Rehearsal - Don't like this one either. Kind of disjointed and the faster parts are annoying.
    Baby Dream In Cellophane - Forgettable.
    Stranger By The Minute - Finally an OK song, but not much more than that. Kind of monotone too.
    A Smart Kid - Very cool vocal melody at the beginning and finally a song with buildup and a payoff.
    Tinto Brass - This one was just weird.
    Stop Swimming - Boring.

    Best album so far, but still not that great. Hope the best is yet to come. Wish there were more songs like Even Less. Btw. voted for last 3 songs in the poll.
     
    Mosh likes this.
  20. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Yes. Other singers make up for technical inability with great emotional performances (Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, etc) but Stevie doesn't really have that. His voice is OK at best and grating at worst.
    Btw, he got a female singer on his solo albums recently. He doesn't use her enough though IMO.

    All remaining songs are good. I'm voting for Stranger By the Minute, Pure Narcotic, and Slave Called Shiver
     

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