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No-Man - Returning Jesus CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.84 | 175 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This hidden gem from No-Man, former project of Steven Wilson and vocalist Tim Browness, features a romantic, melancholic pop sound the drifts through ambient colors, restrained but compelling instrumental work, and lush production. It's not an amazing album, but it is a very good one, and will appeal to listeners comfortable with gentle tones and a bit of melodramatic poetry in their music collection.

Returning Jesus creates an effect that is dominated by three things: the open space created by the band's very subtle playing, warm melodies that are like pop-tunes on ambien, and an emotional resonance captured by the vocals and sometimes abstract instrumental moments. The songs often feel more like canvases to which sounds are painted on. This creates a slow-build effect that is deceptively simple and patient. Browness' vocals are emotional and very melodic, with a breathy vibrato that gives the album much of its romantic feel. Overall the result is quite effective, though I can see it reaching the heartstrings of some more than others. Though you may find yourself humming some of the stronger melodies even if you find his singing bland or limited in range.

For me the the highlight of this album is the class that goes in to the production. It's very well recorded and played, creating full sounds to enjoy. If you're seeking something mellow and artsy, but not a flat-line of ambient soundscapes, then check out Returning Jesus. It combines the trip-pop and artistic execution in just the right amount. It's not the best of the No-Man library, which I would give to either of the albums which follow this one, but it's a worthy release with lots to enjoy.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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