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No-Man - Sweetheart  Raw CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Sweetheart Raw' is a stunning pop song. Spacey, tinkling synths bathe a wonderful bass line, and TIM BOWNESS delivers an understated performance in his breathy voice. This song, however, belongs to STEVEN WILSON's atmospherics and 'Sky Moves Sideways'-era guitar, and the talents of former JAPAN members, some of whom were to join WILSON permanently in PORCUPINE TREE.

The title track is available on 'Loveblows & Lovecries'. However, this single version is three minutes longer than the album's six minutes, which gives WILSON longer to flex his musical muscles. In the dance genre an extended track is often a recipe for disaster: however, in this case it may well be the album track has been edited from this version, so seamless is the difference. 'Sweetheart Raw' is one of those wonderful gems one sometimes finds when one is not looking. Blissful.

The two supporting tracks are worthy items. By this stage in their career, NO-MAN was creating lush, atmospheric pop, and even the weakest of their songs carries a confidence that encourages enjoyment. These are by no means NO-MAN's weakest, though I can see why they didn't make the cut to appear on the album. 'Bleed' starts with COLEMAN's violin, which leads us to another spacey, minimalist backdrop to a typical BOWNESS lyric, introspecitve and harrowingly honest. This belongs on 'Flowermouth', and is a broad hint at what NO-MAN would become. 'Say Baby Say Goodbye' immediately raises the tempo, the pounding, hypnotic music loop dominating BOWNESS's whispers. It's a short track, with a hidden track (with sounds from the title track) following some silence, a common feature of techno albums. Not for hard-core progressive fans, but I'm in my element here.

No single is essential to a progressive music collection, but I'd encourage any lover of STEVEN WILSON's work, of spacey music, or of dance music to try this out. I found it as a download from my country's iTunes while looking for something else, and grabbed it immediately.

russellk | 4/5 |


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