Sound — 10
Porcupine Tree abandons the usual prog rock, and attempts to revisit some classics and test new material in a more acoustic setting. Taken from a live show in Park Avenue CDs store in Orlando, Florida, Steven Wilson and perennial "5th man" John Wesley perform 8 songs in their stripped down versions, with great success. Gone are Colins bass, Gavins drumming and Richards synths (omitted because the venue was too small).
Lyrics — 9
Steven Wilson is a intelligent songwriter, and his voice and confidence has improved a lot since his early days. His lyrics are typically emotive and go well with the music. John Wesley contributes his vocals on this live album too, which allows the duo to pull a nice bit of vocal harmony on Normal. Also present is some rare banter from Steven Wilson himself, which adds a nice touch to the live atmosphere of the CD.
Overall Impression — 8
While it may not be the best Porcupine Tree album, it is a nifty little album, and has different interpretations of some of Porcupine Trees material which will be a hit with some people. My personal favorites are The Sky Moves Sideways, Even Less, Lazarus and Trains. While not an amazing album when compared to other prog/metal bands acoustic work (I'm looking at you Opeth, and your Damnation album) It fills a niche in Porcupine Tree's work, and allows them to tick off the acoustic album off their list. Now when's your greatest hits album coming out guys?