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No-Man - Heaven Taste CD (album) cover



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5 stars Although I must admit that some of the early synthy sounding NO-MAN songs were not my cup of tea, they have my ears with "Heaven Taste". What is funny about this album is that being a collection of B-sides songs, I much prefer them to the A-Sides. For NO-MAN obviously B-Sides represent a playground to experiment and have fun, to try out whims, to work out the ideas forbidden by the commercial and aesthetic demands of a full album. Anyone, like me left wary by the dance-bolstered, poppier/balladry leanings of the early NO-MAN albums will love the art-rock characteristics of this compilation really sounding very much like aspects of PORCUPINE TREE. This album really documents NO-MAN's dreamy, atmospherically lush side delivering an almost avant-garde sound. The album explores the deeper possibilities of Steven Wilson's genius and instrumentation while holing onto Tim Bowness's touch of pop individuality. This album also features the lovely violin work of Ben Coleman, the keyboard work of Richard Barbieri, sax of Mick Karn and the percussion of Steve Jansen. I should also mention this album features a fine version of Nick Drake's "Road". Overall "Heaven Taste" is a visitation to the softer, dreamier, luminescent trance work from NO-MAN's more quietly beautiful territories and ambient shores.
Report this review (#18252)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars

pity, pity, pity... extremely, beutiful, ethereal songs along with ambient, trippy hoppy, daft tracks... i know, Mr Wilson is a rather edgy and restless mind but my taste does not befit this kind of song writing...i'll stick to the prog songs of this EP and give it a 3 star rate..

Report this review (#85902)
Posted Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Despite being labeled here as a studio album, this is an EP. It collects various NO-MAN tracks, presenting them in support of the epic 20-minute dance track, 'Heaven Taste'.

This recording is not quite the treat for prog fans it seems on the surface - "ooh look, a 20-minute STEVEN WILSON track!" Nope, this is trance and dance music, albeit more sophisticated than that spooned out on Ibiza.

The supporting tracks are as well-crafted and inward-looking as one would expect. NO-MAN have a unique chemistry, and these tracks express it well. 'Bleed' is the best of them, though it has appeared on CD before this, on 1993's 'Sweetheart Raw' single. This version has an added dance section at the end.

Good as it is, I'm not entirely convinced by the title track. The ten-minute edit on their recent anthology 'All the Blue Changes' captures the spirit of the track, and flows more coherently than does this original version. In my view this track shares something in common with 'The Sky Moves Sideways', though it is on the dance side of the fence. It's not insignificant that this was released in the same year as that PORCUPINE TREE album. 'Heaven Taste' has a true space-rock feel - but then, so does a whole genre of dance music. If you like this, trust me, you have a great deal of music to discover.

Here NO-MAN paint on a wide canvas. It would be the last time they did so until 2003.

Report this review (#144768)
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Heaven Taste" consists of B-side songs (1991-1993) that never made it onto previous albums. It's not that they weren't good enough but more that they didn't fit in as well as the songs that were chosen.

"Long Day Fall" opens with the sounds of children playing as violin plays over top. Guitar then vocals after 2 minutes. Nice. The children are back to end it after 5 minutes. Good song ! "Bayship Blue" is spacey and atmospheric to open as a beat comes in reminding me of early PORCUPINE TREE. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes as it settles. It picks back up as vocals continue.It has a spacey to ending. "Bleed" is spacey with vocals and a light beat. This song is easy to get lost in. A heavy beat takes over after 4 1/2 minutes as it gets rough.

"Road" is a Nick Drake cover that was originally on a tribute album for Nick called "Brittle Days". Percussion, keys and vocals lead the way. It doesn't have that powerful atmosphere that the previous two songs had. "Heaven Taste" is the over 21 minute closer. Richard Barbieri guests on this one with keyboards and programming. It's spacey to start out until a beat breaks out before 3 minutes. Violin joins in but not for long. It settles before 9 minutes as percussion continues. It sounds like moog that comes in. The beat stops before 12 1/2 minutes as it turns spacey. It then kicks back in about a minute later with drums and bass. Spacey and atmospheric again around 15 1/2 minutes. Nice. The violin is back. The beat returns before 17 minutes. The last 2 minutes are spacey.

A solid 4 stars.

Report this review (#214561)
Posted Saturday, May 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Heaven Taste is a collection of left-overs and b-sides which didn't make it onto the regular albums from the 91-93 era. Quite ironically it happens to be the first No-man that entirely satisfies me. The fact that it rather sounds like a Porcupine Tree album fronted by Tim Bowness obviously explains a lot.

We get five very different and accomplished pieces here. Long Day Fall is an atmospheric ballad with tasty violin from Ben Coleman. It stays clear of the dub rhythms and funky beats from earlier No-man album and I can't say I regret it. I love techno and trip-hop but the No-man's drum programming used to be a bit too apathetic really. Babyship Blue is a gorgeous space-rock track that sounds like a PT left-over from Up The Downstairs.

Bleed is an ambient piece with lush synths and sparse spacey guitar chords. Underneath sit some nice soft electronic percussion. The song sounds like an early try at No-man's later ambient pop works such as Together We're Stranger. Shortly before the end heavy jungle beats and electronic sounds join. Great track. Also Road is beautiful, it's cover from Nick Drake, arranged with delicate piano and keyboard touches.

The piece de résistance here is Heaven Taste, a lush 20 minute space-rock instrumental with a cool dub-rhythm. No-man is joined by the entire Japan crew, Sylvian excepted. Also Coleman provides some violins again. The track follows the sonic blueprint of the PT instrumental sections of Up The Downstairs and TSMS, so fans of those Porcupine Tree albums should really seek this one out.

Report this review (#280474)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This collection is an interesting set of 5 b-sides from No-Man recorded between the years 91-93. There are 4 regular sized tracks and 1 very long mostly instrumental track over 20 minutes long. It is the size of a regular album, but it is a collection of rare but previously recorded tracks.

The first 4 shorter songs are all excellent, emotional, moving, lyrical and even rhythmical. The big standouts here are "Long Day Fall" which features some great violin from former member Ben Coleman, and "Road" which is their cover of the song by Nick Drake. The song "Babyship Blue" was a previous b-side that was only instrumental, and the nice surprise on this collection is that this time around there are lyrics that appear halfway through the song.

The title song of this collection is the long track. It is a dance oriented ambient track that continues on for over 20 minutes. It is nice, but it's nothing special really. It's a floating piece with a mostly constant rhythm that changes a few times, sort of similar to early Porcupine Tree long jams, but leaning towards being more ambient, but not as ambient as Bass Communion as the sound is not really minimalistic, it's dance-ambient.

This is a pretty good collection for No-Man fans, but just know that yes you get great vocals by Tim Bowness and some of that ambience from the last track is courtesy of Richard Barbieri. Of course, Steven Wilson's influence is there and obvious. Not a bad collection, just not their best collection.

Report this review (#1411501)
Posted Sunday, May 10, 2015 | Review Permalink

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