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No-Man - Lovesighs - An Entertainment CD (album) cover

LOVESIGHS - AN ENTERTAINMENT

No-Man

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.23 | 14 ratings

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russellk
Prog Reviewer
2 stars STEVEN WILSON is one of the hardest working craftsmen in modern music, and NO-MAN represents one of his flagship products.

Originally a three-man band, NO-MAN was between 1990 and 1994 WILSON's main hope for his musical breakthrough. It was only when it became clear that NO-MAN was not a long-term commercial proposition that their music became progressive and STEVEN WILSON shifted much of his musical energy to his other fledgling project, PORCUPINE TREE.

'Lovesighs' was NO-MAN's first album after two years of issuing singles with limited success. To my ears the band appeared to be positioning themselves somewhere in the PET SHOP BOYS area. BOWNESS's laconic delivery, subtle variations on a monotone, gives the band a distinctive flavour. WILSON provides gentle, upbeat techno-pop and hip-hop: interesting music, but only a shadow of the magic he would weave later in the decade, both with this band and with PORCUPINE TREE.

NO-MAN certainly had both pretension and ambition. The sleeve of this record notes: 'Four years and (almost) three singles after its sordid conception in the back of a rusty Hillman Imp and its ensuing forceps induced delivery, No Man, the self-proclaimed 'greediest band in pop', finally releases its first (almost) long-playing album'. The same blurb quotes the positive reviews of unnamed critics and goes on (embarrassingly) to describe the band as a 'sexually rampant three-headed monster' who 'know a good bowel movement when [they] feel one.' Not quite the sort of self-promotion they needed, I think.

As for the music, it is surprisingly muted, with none of the big moments WILSON is known for. The songs are small-scale, introverted and thoughtful. 'Days in the Trees' is a genuine good track, while 'Heartcheat Pop' and DONOVAN's 'Colours' are rather enjoyable. I do like the spoken word 'Iris Murdoch Cut Me Down'. The rest of the album is rather forgettable, and is over quickly.

Don't judge NO-MAN on the strength of this album. One year later they came up with an excellent techno-pop album, then shifted gear and mutated into an unclassifiable 'other', a vehicle for STEVEN WILSON creative overflow.

The best tracks of this album are available on compilations. Unless you're a fan and collector like me, leave this one. Move on, proggers, nothing to see here.

russellk | 2/5 |

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