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No-Man - ((Speak)) CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.90 | 48 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Unadulterated melancholia.

The cover art canvasses the subject matter: the plans and efforts of humans gone awry, only the ruins remaining. Many of the songs in this early reissued collection are from before NO-MAN's first album, and reflect a surprising maturity. Further, they help us see that the techno-pop of 'Loveblows' was an affectation. I'm not overfond of these early tracks, preferring the richer production of their One Little Indian albums and the heavenly minimalism of 'Together We're Stranger', but we get neither here. Instead, the songs are mostly straightforward, similar in feel to the band's 'Radio Sessions' and 'Lost Songs' compilations. Some, such as the opener, and 'French Tree Terror Suspect', are violin-led soundscapes, while others are standard pop tunes. As one would expect, the quality of the songwriting is nowhere near as fine as that exhibited on their studio albums, but the sparse feel may appeal to those not fond of high production values.

The two 'keeper' tracks are the two longest: 'Night Sky Sweet Earth' and the bonus track on this reissued album, 'The Hidden Art of Man Ray'. Sombre and melancholy, there's not an uplifting moment to be had here. But there are a couple of worthwhile ones.

russellk | 2/5 |


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