Sunday, March 06, 2011

Porcupine Tree: "Time Flies"

Porcupine Tree certainly needs no introduction from me.

They may not be all that well-known here in North America, relatively speaking, despite some recent Grammy nominations for "Best Surround Sound Album" (a technical category), but they're perhaps the most accomplished prog rock band of the past 20 years, a band that still dares to make concept albums -- "progressive," yes, but they defy easy categorization.

A few years ago, I blogged about their outstanding ninth album, Fear of a Blank Planet, a dark, gloomy, and deeply empathetic examination of technology, media, and youth.

They released their tenth, The Incident, in 2009. As singer, guitarist, songwriter Steven Wilson explained, "[e]ach song is written in the first person and tries to humanize the detached media reportage" of various "destructive" and "traumatic" incidents.

One of the stand-out songs on the album is "Time Flies." Porcupine Tree is often compared to Pink Floyd (although, to me, no band will ever be even close to the equal of Pink Floyd, except The Beatles), and understandably so (at least with respect to their earlier stuff). The band generally resists the comparison, but this song is thematically a lot like "Time," the Floyd classic from Dark Side, with guitar a lot like Gilmour's on "Dogs," one of the epic pieces on Animals. It's 11:40 on the album, but it was cut down for release as a single, and for a video.

And here is that video. Enjoy. (And if you don't know Porcupine Tree, do yourself a favour and get on it.)

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