乐评：Porcupine Tree《Fear Of A Blank Planet》
"Fear Of A Blank Planet" is the ninth studio album of Porcupine Tree and was released in 2007. Steven Wilson has mentioned that the album's title is a direct reference to Public Enemy's album of 1990, with the same name. Public Enemy is an American hip hop group and they're better known for their politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community. However, while Public Enemy's album was about race issues, Porcupine Tree's album was about coming to terms with the 21st century technology, the technology which is generally used massively by all Western world civilization.
《Fear Of A Blank Planet》是Porcupine Tree的第九张录音室专辑，发行于2007年。Steven Wilson提到说专辑的主题是直接引自Public Enemy乐队1990年的同名专辑（Fear of a Black Planet）。Public Enemy是美国嘻哈组合，因为其政治意味明显的歌词和对美国媒体的批评而闻名，乐队非常关注在非裔美国人团体所受到的挫折和担忧。不过Public Enemy的专辑是关于种族问题的，而Porcupine Tree的专辑则是关于21世纪的（科学）技术的，这些技术一般被大规模用于所有西方世界的文明中。
The concept of the album was heavily influenced by Bret Easton Ellis' novel "Lunar Park". The novel is told from the perspective of a father, who bears the name of the novel's author himself, whereas the album is mostly from his son's perspective. Many of the lyrics of the album are lifted directly from the novel. The lyrics deal with two typical neurobehavioral development disorders affecting teenagers in the 21st century, such as, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder, and also with other common behaviour tendencies of youth like escapism by drugs, social alienation caused by technology and a feeling of vacuity, a product of information overload by the mass media.
专辑的概念很大程度上受到Bret Easton Ellis的小说《Lunar Park》的影响。该小说是由一个为父亲作为叙述者叙述的，他的名字就是小说作者的名字，不过专辑却大部分是根据他儿子的视角叙述的。专辑中的许多歌词是直接从小说中选出的。歌词涉及了两个典型的神经行为发育障碍，其影响着21shiji的青年们，那就是双相情感障碍和注意力缺乏障碍，也涉及其他常见的青年人的行为倾向比如用药物逃避现实、因为（科学）技术所引起的社会疏离感与大众传媒信息过载所造成的虚无感。
The line up on the album is Steven Wilson (vocals, guitars, piano and keyboards), Richard Barbieri (keyboards and synthesizers), Colin Edwin (bass guitars) and Gavin Harrison (drums). It has also the participation of Alex Liefson (guitar), Robert Fripp (keyboards and synthesizers), John Wesley (backing vocals) and the London Session Orchestra.
专辑的制作成员是：Steven Wilson (主唱，吉他，钢琴与键盘), Richard Barbieri (键盘与合成器), Colin Edwin (贝司) and Gavin Harrison (鼓). 同时也有Alex Liefson (吉他), Robert Fripp (键盘与合成器), John Wesley (和声)以及伦敦乐团的参与。
"Fear Of A Blank Planet" has six tracks. All songs were written and composed by Steven Wilson, except "My Ashes" with music by Wilson and Barbieri and "Way Out Of Here" with music by all four band members. The first track is the title track "Fear Of A Blank Planet". The clacking of a computer keyboard leads the album's opener into a haze of an aggressive song writing and slightly discordant ambience that immediately characterizes Steve's concept. The lyrics clearly condemn the mesmerizing effect of video and the computers on a child. Musically, we find heavy guitars, processed voice, great keyboard working and catchy choruses. The second track "My Ashes" is the opposite of the first track. It's a fairly retro ballad, driven by a quiet and unassuming synthesizer riff. It does get a tiny bit epic towards the end, but it's a lower key counterpoint to the opener which immediately demonstrates to the listener the real breath of the sounds that Porcupine Tree is capable of achieving and, more immediately, how cohesive they can make them seem.
《Fear Of A Blank Planet》有六首歌。所有歌曲都是由Steven Wilson创作和编制的，除了"My Ashes"是Wilson和Barbieri合作的、"Way Out Of Here"是所有四位乐队成员合作的。第一首歌是主题曲"Fear Of A Blank Planet"。开头的电脑键盘咔嗒声引导专辑进入一个具有侵略性的歌曲的薄雾中，其略微的不和谐氛围马上能令人感到Steve概念的特征。歌词明显谴责了电视和电脑对孩子的具有魅惑性的影响力。音乐上，我们会发现很重的吉他，经过处理的人声，伟大的键盘和朗朗上口的合唱。第二首歌"My Ashes"和第一首正好相反。它是相当复古的民谣，由安静而平易近人的合成器riff驱动。它在最后有一点史诗化的倾向，但是它随后相对于开场曲呈现一个对位的减弱，这立即向听众们证明了Porcupine Tree有能力去实现一种真正有生命力的音乐，也立即证明了他们可以让这两种风格（一重一轻）变得如此有结合力。
The third track "Anesthetize" is the epic song of the album. Unlike other Porcupine Tree's epics this isn't really one piece of music with a start, an instrumental middle piece and the return to the original melody. Instead of that, this new epic has three songs joined together. All three combine perfectly. This is indeed one of the best pieces of music that the band has ever recorded. The fourth track "Sentimental" is a very beautiful ballad with piano and drums accompanied by acoustic guitar, voice and a grand piano. The song is a typical emotional Porcupine Tree's ballad that even contains a very beautiful Spanish guitar solo. This is the kind of songs that wouldn't have been out of place on "Stupid Dream" or "Lightbuld Sun". The fifth track "Way Out Of Here" is a very good track that explores many different musical ideas with seven and a half minutes. It's the only full band's composition on the album and it also features a musical section with some of the loudest metal riffs on the album. This is a very tasteful song with a very mysterious musical ambience enhanced by some characteristics Fripp's soundscapes. The sixth track "Sleep Together" is a strange song that starts with subdued vocals, very electronic and many synthesizer effects. After some time, the drum beat comes in and the song eventually builds to a climax with a massive use of orchestral strings. This is a very interesting and inventive way to end this magnificent album and that leaves the listener eager for much, much more.
第三首歌"Anesthetize"是专辑的史诗曲目。不像其他Porcupine Tree的史诗那样先由音乐开始，然后中间是器乐演奏，接着最后回归主题旋律，这首新的事实由三首歌一同结合，它们都完美的联合起来。它真的是乐队做过的最棒的音乐了。第四首歌"Sentimental"是非常美丽的民谣，有钢琴和鼓、木吉他、人声和三角钢琴。歌曲是典型的情绪化的Porcupine Tree的民谣，甚至还包含一个非常优美的西班牙吉他独奏。这是那种不适合在《Stupid Dream》或《Lightbuld Sun》专辑中出现的歌曲。第五首歌"Way Out Of Here"是很不错的歌曲，在七分半的时间内探索了许多不同的音乐想法。它是专辑中唯一一首乐队所有成员共同作曲的歌曲，也是唯一在音乐部分有许多大声的金属riff的歌曲。伴随着一些有着Fripp（KC的主脑）特征的音景的增强，歌曲有着很神秘的音乐氛围，使它非常雅致。第六首歌"Sleep Together"显得有些奇怪，开头是柔和的人声，它很电子化和有许多合成器的效果。过了一段时间，鼓加入了进来，歌曲最终构建到了高潮，用了大量的管弦乐。这是非常有趣和有创造力的方式去结束这种华丽宏伟的专辑，而留下了听众让他们去渴望更多、更多。
Conclusion: In many ways "Fear Of A Blank Planet" is one of the best Porcupine Tree's albums and is also my favourite studio album from the band. Lyrically, it's a lot more understandable and I like very much the concept used for the lyrics. Musically, the album seems like the accumulation of everything the group has done before, thereby creating a total that's greater than the sum of the individual parts, I think. I sincerely think that it's rather difficult to find any fault and any lack of cohesion on this album. It's very strong in all aspects and doesn't have a dull moment on it. Of course it has its quiet moments but none of them are dull. Steven Wilson demonstrates once again why he is considered one of the best sound engineers at the moment and one of the best producers too. So, I really can't find any reason not to give 5 stars to this album and considered it a masterpiece. It should be in every progressive rock lover's musical collection, because it shows Porcupine Tree at their best. It's due to albums like this one, that progressive rock is still alive today.
结论：很多方面来说，《Fear Of A Blank Planet》都是Porcupine Tree最好的专辑了，也是我的最爱。歌词上，它是足以被理解的，而且我喜欢歌词里的概念。音乐上，我认为专辑就像是积累了乐队之前所创作的一切来创造出一个整体总和，远远要比各个部分的简单相加要伟大得多。说实话，我很难去发现专辑中存在任何毛病和缺乏凝聚力。它在每个方面都太强了，没有任何一刻是沉闷的。当然它有安静的时刻，但它们不是无聊的。Steven Wilson再一次证明了为什么他是目前最好的声音工程师之一，也是目前最好的制作人之一。所以，我真心找不到任何理由不给专辑打五颗星，我认为它是一张杰作。它应该在每一个前卫摇滚爱好者的音乐收藏里，因为它展示了最好的Porcupine Tree。正是由于有这样出色的专辑，前卫摇滚才会至今存活。
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