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No-Man - Flowermouth CD (album) cover

FLOWERMOUTH

No-Man

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.80 | 118 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars This is the highest rated No-Man recording and deservedly so! If you take the initiative and actually absorb yourself into this album, it will blossom mightily. Firstly, the guest list is as impressive as one could hope for! Steve Wilson, Ben Coleman and Tim Bowness surrounded by stalwarts such as Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, the sumptuous Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance fame, the visceral nucleic trumpet of Ian Carr, Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen of Japan and the two Maitland brothers. While the material is infinitely more polished, it is still dance/space/electronica prog pop of the highest order, stuffed with riveting melodies and cool breezy refrains. All tracks are stupendously inquisitive, with "Shell of a Fighter" being the absolute colossal success, instantly adhering to one's pleasure nodes and squatting there unperturbed. Probably one of my fave tracks in modern prog, luscious piano, searing electronics from Barbieri and astounding vocals set in the sincerest melody ever. A breeze! The finale is bathing in sonic white noise, creepy swaths of fuzzed- out guitar skirmishes, a sizzling euphoria that overpowers and then settles into another Frippertronic guitar wave goodbye. "Teardrop Fall", "Animal Ghost" and "Simple" are all moody little ditties that have reflective powers that do not fade away, brimming with melody and moody melancholia. The opening nearly 10 minute monster is a sonic ride that is a spellbinding "ballade" with 2 sax blows sandwiching some fine trumpet playing. I am particularly hypnotized by "You Grow More Beautiful" and its numbing beat and prowling guitar flushes, strongly reminiscent of the Beloved, the shivering and delicate "Soft Shoulders", smoldering in languorous ambience, eerily remindful of future Porcupine Tree ballads and the terrific "Things Change" where flurried guitar washes and furry rhythms abound, slashed by a phosphorescent Frippian axe missile that blazes and fizzes uncontrollably. Slow burning exaltations of a man spurned , in a sea of sadness and pain ("You are leaving me behind" and a "Things Change" retort), dense whirlwinds of atmosphere, dreamy almost soporific piano, dirge-like effects and a simple drumbeat , loaded with desolation and guilt. And then THAT incredible guitar drills massively forward, unremorseful. Brrrrrrrr! You got to hear this to believe it! Some difficult fans have a problem with Tim Bowness' voice, complaining unjustly that it's too "hushy mushy" but there emanates a romantic ennui that is instantly adept at translating the moodiness of the music. This needs repeated auditions to really sink in, fine party music for a classy get together. An easy 4.5 blooming orifices.
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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