I received my copy yesterday and have listened to it twice. It's even better the second time! The music here is more melodic and less 'hard rock' than In Absentia or Deadwing. To me this album also holds together better than either of the later two. The mix is excellent, all channels used, even some panning to good effect. From the previous releases I expected all this. What really surprised me is the sound quality. I haven't listened to the cd in a few weeks, but the first thing that hit me on first listen was how good is sounds. I haven't been listening to much Hi-Rez as of late, so I can't say how it compares to some of the best sounding discs. However, I can't imagine that anyone who is familiar with the original cd would not be impressed.
Great music, great mix, great sounding, plus you don't need to turn on your tv to navigate. A 10. Worth the wait and every last penny.
I second BananaSlug. Stupid Dream isn't as much layered as the following records, so I wasn't expecting an aggressive mix.
Anyway, it is very subtle and submerging. It does take advantage of the rare backing vocals, and every little detail which worth being in the surround speakers. SW had really learned well with E. Scheiner and he can be proud of this new surround mix all done by himself (for the first time).
Besides the mix, what is truly amazing is the sound quality (once again, I'm with you BananaSlug ). This is a strong departure from the original release of the album.
This is where high-rez is truly essential, if there was any doubt about it. I'm sure that any PT fan, not familiar with high-rez, would notice the improvement.
It's like a new record. Period.
Now I can't wait for Lightbulb Sun because it has both the feeling of Stupid Dream and In Absentia. It's more layered than Stupid Dream and CD quality was already very strong, so I can't even imagine what the DVD-A of Lightbulb Sun could be...
Hmm, to say anything about Hi-Res, I think you should compare the new CD version with the (new) DVD-A (stereo) version. This release is a great opportunity to do soOriginally Posted by YmSeb
But what is this warning on the cover:
If I know anything about Neil, he would make sure that it would be playable on every DVD player. Or is it lacking DD or LPMC streamsDVD-A ... might not be compatible/playable on all DVD players
Last edited by Ge Someone; 05-22-2006 at 03:32 PM.
There is no Dolby Digital stream, and the PCM stream is 24/48 so some early players may truncate to 16/48, or throw a hissy fit.DVD-A ... might not be compatible/playable on all DVD players
Strict Spec says that there really should be either a DD stream or a 16/48 stereo, but in general all should be fine. It's actually quite nice & refreshing to see a warning - most labels don't bother!
DVD-A compliance will be just fine.
As far as the record goes, I think the sound of this one is the best yet - Steven has done a superb mix, and Darcy Proper has done a fine job of the mastering - it's compressed, but not too much. I don't know how Steven did the mix, but this one has a lot more warmth to the overall sound compared to In Absentia.
Roll on Lightbulb Sun! (And the live album)
Oh well, whatever - nevermind.
It's all been said above, great album, great mix. More please!
I was not familiar with the original recording so based on my first listen, I give this a 9. Great mix and sonics. The only thing holding me back from a 10 is the stately pace of the record. Not a major criticism but the songs started to blend into each other a bit. Repeat listens are certainly required .
any one in the NYC area get their copy yet?
I'm in Connecticut and rec'd my copy yesterday - my shipping notice was dated 5/18 so it came pretty quick
Got it today. Never heard it before. Pre-ordered soley due to the discussion that it might not be in DVD-A. I'm not sorry.
Maybe it's too soon to write this review, but I'm infatuated with this disc after one listen. "A Smart Kid" took me over the top. Friggin' wow.
I gave it a 10. I like it better than "Deadwing." It's a toss-up with "In Abstentia", but some of the harder stuff on "In Abstentia" doesn't appeal to me as much as this disc.
"You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles
This is a great one. The mix on "Stupid Dream" is awesome. The listener is enveloped in sound for almost the entire disc. This title, along with their other two DVD-A releases are among the best surround mixes I have heard. Other artist could benefit from a page in PT's multichannel playbook. (Of course Elliott Scheiner originally wrote the book!)
I have had the disc since Tuesday and I have given it a listen three times through. My favorites include "Even Less", "Baby Dream in Cellophane", "A smart Kid" and "Tinto Brass". The later is a tasty, sonic journey. Bonus features include; "Ambulance Chasing" (nice!), and even more of "Even Less", the full length version. The almost seven minutes has a lot to offer this already great song, without making it drag on. It is the one to listen to IMO. If you even remotely like Porcupine Tree, you have to have it! I am splitting hairs here, but I am giving it a nine, simply because the musical content is not quite as diverse or on the same plane as "In Absentia" and "Dead Wing". I know others prefer this one for that very reason. If I didn't have those titles to compare it to, it would be a ten for sure.
Now, come on "Lightbulb Sun"!
I wonder if Steve Wilson has considered doing "Radioactive Toy" in 5.1, even as a bonus track? That would be cool!
Last edited by DennisMabry; 05-27-2006 at 02:57 PM.
I Can't Seem To Find It (stupid Dreams) Can You Tell Me Where Thanks
It is only available via the the artists online music store http://www.burningshed.co.uk/index.asp?main=pt&page=new
This is amazing!
I listened to the stereo mix in my car twice and was quite impressed with the sonics.
Just last night I had time to kick back and enjoy the DVD-A. It sounded like a totally different set of songs. There was so much more to absorb from every angle. This is a job well done!
I am still in awe over "Don't hate me." The stereo mix on that song was to me, average, but the DVD-A was captivating.
Thanks to all for the heads up on the release and thanks to Neil for a dose of enjoyment.
This surround mix is great. I often felt half (part) of a song was in front of me and the other half behind me (if you know what I mean).
It's not like a typical ES mix, it's more like the Elton John's. The center is used for isolated lead parts (vocals a.o.) and most of the time dry.
This might be the most "radio friendly" PT album, at the time it was promoted by 3 singles, Pure Narcotic, Piano Lessons and Stranger by the minute. Also this is the kind of album that you probably will play from beginning to end, without ever thinking of the skip button .
As compared to the original CD release, in general, the new version is more dry and the drums (cymbals) are more prominent. The effects like reverb and delays (at least those on vocals and piano) seem to have been redone in a more subtle way. (my guess is that SW found that it worked better for surround this way). That the drums stand out somewhat more now, changes the sound a bit towards the newer albums.
Personally I happen to like the original effects (e.g. on the first verse of Baby Dream), but the percussion is a clear improvement. The surround treatment is simply awesome
I won't give a 10 too easily, but at least a 9.5
A few remarks on the authoring. For normal playing, the whole disc in 5.1 DVD-A, it's optimal. Pop in and it goes.
On my (Pioneer derived) player I could not get to play the Stereo version, whatever I choose in the menu. I have to go into the setup and change preference from DVD-A to DVD-V
In the DVD-Video part were some surprises, a beautiful animated menu, without the annoyance of the Deadwing menu (starts with loud noises, had to wait till it's finished). And the disc has a DTS track too. Plus a video clip of Piano Lessons.
A pity the animation could not be used in the same way on the DVD-A part of the disc due to software problems. And the active menu's .. are there, but on the bonus tracks only
But none of these things means it is not a good disc, it's fine even without the extra, extra icing on the DVD-A cake
Also this time, I like the artwork (with In Absentia, I didn't)
about that warning ..
Sorry, but I think it's silly to have a warning like that on a disc that is only available from a web shop . Just a lame disclaimer that you will see too late anyway. Even in a normal store it's warnings like this that turn away customers that do not know what's behind it (it could have been another draconic copy protection that fails to play in some players, who knows, theirs...).Originally Posted by neil wilkes
edit: added a bit about the content
Last edited by Ge Someone; 07-10-2006 at 02:49 PM. Reason: remark on not mentioning DTS are no longer valid
Still trying to find a way to give this a 12
Bands like PT seem to lose money touring and can probably barely afford to finance a set like this so i for one am very grateful and think its great that they invest such effort and show up the more 'mainstream' superstars who dont bother with mch :thumbsdow
I love the vocal harmonies spacious tone ( eg. Stranger by the minute' ) and the songs generally come from a very productive time in Steven Wilsons writing career. As ever . he seems quite content to plough his own furrow regardless of commercial pressures and I'll be right there , credit card in hand, as long as he does.
Time for even more 'Even Less '
P.S. Still to come is the Dvd in September , they have Blackest Eyes up on their myspace website and also the new Blackfield album , they have a new mp3 track on their myspace site. Hope he can squeeze in 'Lightbulb Sun ' Dvd-A before Christmas
Hey,you buggers can sing higher than I can !
I had never heard of Porcupine Tree before reading about them here. I then spent more time reading about them on line and then listened to little snippets of songs and purchased "Deadwing" and "In Absentia", two surround albums I like a lot. I plan to get this one as well. Outside of my relationships on line, I don't know anybody that has heard of this group. Is there any site that shows sales of albums or artists or estimates of sales? I am pretty sure these albums aren't blockbusters, but it would be interesting to see sales figures.
Add another 10 to the pile. I love love love this disc!!! I love Deadwing and In Absentia as well but there ius something about this disc that really hits something with me. The songs are great and the playing is just so perfect. The sound on the disc is phenomenol. It is really well mastered and the 5.1 mix is exceptional. I can't say enough good things about it. Thanks to everyone involved in getting this one out. I will be looking forward to all future PT 5.1 projects. If they are half as good as this one it will be a winner!!!
Itís pretty hard to find any fault with this recording. Perhaps itís a good thing that Stupid Dreams was out of circulation for a few years before this MC release came out. Even though the anticipation killed me, the wait was well worth it as now there is a whole new PT set to marvel at.
Something that does not get enough discussion is the impact and strength of Chris Maitlandís percussions. They are displayed in full virtue on this release - specifically in the ďAmbulance ChasingĒ and ďEven LessĒ extras.
In the last two years, Porcupine Tree has grown from a nice new find, to a welcome part of my family. Each time they visit, they bring presents - extra special and wonderful presents.
And when they came to my town, I visited them (twice) and showed them my appreciation.
Some sacrilege here. This is better than In Absentia and Deadwing IMO. More laid back and melodic to my tastes. As is their entire back catalog.
Thank you Steve, Richard, Colin, & Chris.
Itís a TEN !!!!
Recently, I have had the pleasure of seeing the Boston Red Sox win two World Series And the New England Patriots win three Superbowls. Not bad, eh?
Great mix, great fidelity, great content. guess that makes it a 10 by definition. all hail the kings of mch. more please, mr wilson.
Barry from San Diego
Another excellent PT DVD-A. Keep them coming. This is the first time I have heard Stupid Dream. Steve (no not that Steve!!) has done a great job on the surround mix. On the first listen I thought it wasn't as good as their other 2 DVD-A's but on the 2nd listen, it is coming into focus. I'm sure that it will be right up there with the other 2 after a few more listens. I have to vote 10 as this is so much above most other releases out there at the moment. Please bring the entire catalogue out in 5.1 DVD-A. I and most others will buy them all.
I have never heard anything PT outside the two DVD-A's I have, In Absentia and Deadwing.
Since I love those two I took a chance and ordered Stupid Dreams as well. Once again I was very impressed by this realease. The sonics and mixes is IMHO better than on the other two (and they are both very good), and the music is in the same league. I have to listen some more to this, for me, brand new music before I give my final judgement. Add to this a very classy package and you have the #1 rerealease of the year.
A solid 10 in my book. I repeat, sonic quality and 5.1-mixes doesn't get any better than this.
Thanks For The Headsup Mix Was Excellent I Gave It A 10 /trainman92
I give it a 9. Fantastic mix. I noticed that it has a lower bit rate than the the other 2 PT's. My player tells me it is only has a seven out of ten bit rate. Now, I can't say I can hear any difference but just about all my DVD-A have the full bit rate except for this one, Vespertine (8 bit rate) and a couple of Silverline issues namely Robert Cray and Charlie Musselwaite which also run at a seemingly lower bit rate of 8 on my player. Maybe Neil can explain this or anybody else who has noticed it??? . Regard this as a nit picking observation, the album is still a must have.
Please equalise your ears now!