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No-Man - Together We're Stranger CD (album) cover

TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER

No-Man

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.11 | 206 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progkidjoel
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Pure beauty transposed into music, pure and simple.

As an album, Together We're Stranger is just that - a collection of truly beautiful music transposed into one disc. On this album of wonderful ambient pop, Bowness and Wilson truly solidify their legacy as no-man, creating just under 50 minutes of sonic wonder. The truly commendable effort of Wilson, tackling a majority of the instrumentation, creates some of the most dense and explorative atmospherics to ever grace my ears, and Bowness' dramatic, dulcet tones, although not everyone's favourite vocal style, match this music perfectly, and pull at the heart strings like very few other albums ever have, or ever will.

The music is mostly soundscape/synthesizer based and has a wonderful lyric set, which mostly seems to confront relationship issues, the loss of loved ones and other facts of life, love and loss. The soundscapes, guitar, banjo, clarinet, strings and vocal work here is unlike any other no-man album (or any other album for that matter) - incredible creativity and imagination is at work here, creating unheard of tones. This is an album best enjoyed on a walk at night, or in one's room alone - put simply, this is not upbeat music in any real shape or form, and features very few pop sensibilities like many of no-man's other works.

The album opens with soft synth on the title track, Wilson awaiting Bowness' vocal input later on in the track. A soaring guitar solo cuts amongst the ambient work here, and the result is truly perfect. Other tracks like All The Blue Changes feature a more definite rhythm, and this movement between structured, beat based music comes in and out of the picture. The spacey, open wide sound returns with Things I Want To Tell You, a maze of haunting vocals, incredibly sad yet beautiful lyrics, plucked guitar and mellotron, which is very easily one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever conceived, recorded or heard. Photographs In Black And White features a sound more similar to the earlier, poppier no-man works, although closes in an incredibly dark fashion. Back When You Were Beautiful is the albums more obvious ballad, but is still brilliant none the less. This melancholic little ditty features some of the most beautiful guitar and vocal interplay I've ever heard, and ranks highly amongst my favourite Wilson releases. The closer, The Break-Up For Real, has a much more harsh, raw sound, although is still absolutely beautiful, and brings this tear-jerker to an end.

As a pop music, ambient lover, or Wilson aficionado, you HAVE to hear this album. As such a curiosity in their discography, it is surprising to see this album receive the band's most critical acclaim, although incredibly well deserved. It is worth mentioning the sonic quality on the 24 bit master, available on the DVD portion of the CD/DVD version, blows the CD's out of the water for sonic fidelity, which is an important factor on this album. Regardless of how, this album MUST be heard!

An easy masterpiece.

progkidjoel | 5/5 |

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