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Carptree - Man Made Machine CD (album) cover





3.62 | 108 ratings

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3 stars This is amazing. I wasn't expecting to like this, it took me by surprise.

Yet when I put on the album "Man-made machine" I found this album to have a fragile beauty. The songs are extremely well crafted, the atmosphere surrounding the songs is eerie. The songs have such beautiful melodies, underscored by some beautiful piano playing. The melodies on this album are spine-tingling and I think carefully conceived. There's no throwaway improvs. There are a lot of inspiring backing vocals that really add to this release.

Although their style is based on modern rock, their sound is full of bucket loads of symphonic rock. Their music is genuinely 'ethereal' . However, this is not overproduced, nor does it have a 'big' sound. yet their choices of synthesiser tones make a great impression. The singer has a small voice but the production is good and places his voice in the front so I can understand everything he says. His voice is very good at conveying feelings and emotions. In fact this album is quite moving, even if you don't really understand the meaning of the lyrics. They're a bit complicated.

Are they original? They definitely don't lean on the sound of the classic masters like a crutch,unlike some other modern bands. In fact you would have to wonder if they have ever heard of Yes or Genesis at all! I guess they have but they didn't want to recreate the sound of those bands.

My favourite tracks are the opening "Titans Clash aggressively", the haunting beauty of "The weakening sound", "The man you just became" which reminds me a bit of 'Visions of Angels' from the Genesis album 'Trespass' and "The recipe" is a nice change of pace.

That said, they made a lot of mistake in the second half of this album. The title track, "Man made machiene", tries to be a big 'metal-epic' but is a metal slug that sits there for over six minutes and takes all the momentum away from the album. The track "Burn to something new" has some impressive vocal harmonies, and while not quite a masterpiece, starts to regain that momentum, but that momentum is lost again when "In the centre of an empty space" rolls around, which is pretty much a reprise of the title track, a long, slow, metal slug, and lacks any excitement or tonal dynamics.

"The recipe" and the closing "This is home" regain the album somewhat, hence the three star rating. But this is a very lopsided record, the first half could be rated 4.5 stars and the second side 1.5 stars. The weak points for this album are that there is a lack of changes in pace, they just seem to be lacking. You get that modern-rock meets symphonic sound from beginning to end, and 'The recipe' feels more like taking a breather than a part of the musical progression of this album. Also, does this album have to be so heavy hearted from beginning to end? There's not any cheerful numbers to balance all the serious times on the album.

That said, it is a great achievement and a highly enjoyable album, there are a few songs that can be appreciate by fans of prog and pop/rock alike. You just may find it's a bit inconsistent.

Brendan | 3/5 |


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