Sound — 6
Voyage 34 is an instrumental concept album, narrating the LSD trip of 'Brian'. The Voyage is seperated into 4 tracks, or 'Phases', the first of which dives into the mind of Brian, and lets the listener engage aurally with the trip, with occasional narratation setting the scene. Slowly, the track shifts from a slow, pulsing rhythm, becoming fleshed out with synthesisers and vocal-style keyboards, changing the tone of the piece, and building up to an exulting, though quite minimalist, guitar solo. The rest of the Phases sink distinctly below par, due to the sheer boredom they inflict. Perhaps 'Phase I' should've been included on another album as a standalone track, rather than serialising it here, and subjecting the listener to endure this monotony. I prefer the music provided by albums such as 'In Absentia' and 'Lightbulb Sun' to this. Not to say that the music here is not enjoyable, but it gets very tedious, quite quickly. If you ignore the fact that 'Phases II - IV' exist, the album gets so much shorter, but so much better.
Lyrics — 6
There aren't any lyrics, unless you count some narration and soundbites. Which are interesting, but it's impossible to really give an impression on lyrics and/or singing: therefore I can't really score this, ignore it if you want to get a true average score!
Overall Impression — 7
The problem here is that none of the remaining phases are particularly gratifying, compared with Phase I. They also all have a duration of 10+ minutes; a casual listener is likely not to wish to sit through an hours worth of ambient rock, which all follows a very similar vein. Even fans of Porcupine Tree's other albums may find themselves alienated somewhat by this very niche album. The album does, however, provide a very relaxing, calming sensation, good for drifting off to sleep, perhaps. Overall, the album isn't disappointing, in the sense that I'm disappointed with the band for making a brave, and yes, enjoyable concept album. But it's extremely difficult to listen through the whole hour, and not fall asleep or turn off. If I'm forcing myself to listen to this album (especially Phases II - IV), then why am I listening to it?