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No-Man Flowermouth album cover
3.96 | 201 ratings | 16 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Angel Gets Caught In The Beauty Trap (9:56)
2. You Grow More Beautiful (5:37)
3. Animal Ghost (6:09)
4. Soft Shoulders (3:57)
5. Shell Of A Fighter (7:48)
6. Teardrop Fall (4:37)
7. Watching Over Me (4:48)
8. Simple (7:03)
9. Things Change (7:31)

Total Time: 57:26

Bonus tracks on 2005 remastered reissue:
10. Angeldust (9:11)
11. Born Simple (12:09)

Total Time: 78:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Bowness / vocals, lyrics
- Steven Wilson / instruments, producer

- Robert Fripp / guitar (1,3,5,6,8,10,11), frippertronics (1,5,8,9-11)
- Mel Collins / soprano saxophone (1,10), flute (3,6)
- Ian Carr / trumpet (1)
- Ben Coleman / violin (1,3-7), electric violin (9), string arranger (4)
- Richard Barbieri / electronics (5)
- Lisa Gerrard / voice sample (8)
- Silas Maitland / fretless bass (1,10)
- Chris Maitland / drums (1,9), percussion (1,3)
- Steve Jansen / percussion (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Bill Smith Studio

2xLP One Little Indian ‎- TPLP67 (1994, UK)

CD One Little Indian ‎- TPLP67CD (1994, UK)
CD 3rd Stone ‎- stone 045CD (1999, UK) Remastered & partially remixed (tracks 1-3,7,9)
CD Kscope ‎- KSCOPE111X (2005, UK) Remaster from 1999 with 2 bonus tracks, originally issued on the "Flowermix" remix album, released in 1995

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NO-MAN Flowermouth ratings distribution

(201 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

NO-MAN Flowermouth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars This album has previously been released on One Little Indian Records (TPLP67/MC/CD). Now it has been remixed, remastered and released on the 3rd Stone Ltd. Label. It was originally released in 1994. The melancholic and sophisticated pop from this London duo is slightly more ambient, experimental and progressive on this release than on their "Carolina Skeletons" EP.

- The list of guest performances are very impressive, with names such as jazz legend Ian Carr, Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard, Japan's rhythm section: Steve Jensen and Richard Barbieri and KING CRIMSON's Robert Fripp and Mel Collins. They are all adding their personal musical flavour to the music. Besides the influence that these musicians have on the sound, there's also reminiscences to David BOWIE, Brian ENO, ERASURE, NEW ORDER, PET SHOP BOYS, PREFAB SPROUT, ROXY MUSIC, Hugh Cornwell/The STRANGLERS, David SYLVAIN and TALK TALK. In fact this album often reminds of Hugh Cornwell's "Wolf" album from 1988.

- If there's music in heaven, this must be what it sounds like. I'm very impressed by the music that Tim Bowness and Steven WILSON have created, and I'm eager to get to hear their complete back-catalogue. This is an excellent album. Recommended!

Review by Tristan Mulders
4 stars No-Man - Flowermouth

This is a record that's nothing like 'typical' (space) prog, but still can't be named anything else (however, maybe by adding words like, space prog pop rock or space prog dance rock).

Although it sounds nothing like Steven Wilson's normal band PORCUPINE TREE, you'll still find these typical things in the music's composition and the way it is played. It's so typically Steven Wilson. This is a good thing mind you!

The music is a clever mix of rock, pop, ambient and dance. There isn't a single song on this record that has a relative simple composition though, but all songs are almost instantly accessible and likeable.

There are some favourites though:

There's the beauty slightly jazzy tune Angel gets caught in the Beauty Trap. This song is a brilliant opener for any album. You just have to listen to it to understand what I mean, but believe me it's a really addictive 10 min ballad (!).

Than there's the song Animal Ghost that has some beautiful flute passages in it. It also has this really lovely pianoloop.

Shell of a Fighter is my absolute favourite on the album. It has it all: dance-like drumloops, lovely vocals, nice lyrics, and nice synthesizers. But the best is yet to come. Halfway through there's this ambient breakdown which is smoothly followed with an upbeat part with very cool effected guitars and synthesizers, creating a wonderful climax for the song.

Another song with the same kind of cool composition as 'Shell of a Fighter' is Simple. The song starts with some very spacey sounding keyboards. After about 1 min the drums start and with it a couple of very strange extra synthesizers. This song features a woman on additional vocals (expect vocals like on PINK FLOYD's 'Great Gig in the Sky' that means, no lyrics but improvising with tones). The song turns into this ambient- dance tune halfway through and there comes this effect guitarpart in to picture. This builds up to a climax and then the son ends with an about 1.30min lasting spacey instrumental passage.

The closing track on this album is the only track that actually features a real guitarsolo to close the album off.

This album is absolutely a must for anyone who likes PORCUPINE TREE, PINK FLOYD and/or ARCHIVE.

A big thank you to STEVEN WILSON for his incredible instrumentation on this album and to TIM BOWNESS for adding his warm and tender voice to the beautiful soundscapes. This guy really has one of the most likeable voices I've ever heard!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars The biggest problem for me with this album is the dance beat that is heard way too often for my tastes. Lots of fantastic guests on this one though. I was surprised to see the legendary Ian Carr from NUCLEUS playing trumpet on the first track. Ben Coleman plays violin on many of the songs, while Robert Fripp is doing his Frippertronics on most of these songs too including some guitar. Mel Collins plays sax and flute, while future PORCUPINE TREE drummer Chris Maitland plays on a few tracks and Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen formerly of JAPAN also contribute.

It's cool to read in the liner notes how NO-MAN were given an advance and used it to upgrade Steven's home studio plus pay for these guests to contribute. Also after a meeting with the record label they were very disillusioned with the whole process after being told to create uptempo tunes and hit singles. Instead they decided to do it all their own way and at least go out on their own terms. The results were a lesson learned as they realized that they could never let the music be dictated by anything but themselves ever again. "Angel Gets Caught In The Beauty Trap" has some excellent lyrics as vocals arrive a minute in. Violin after 2 1/2 minutes, while Carr comes in at 5 1/2 minutes followed by Collins on his sax. Mel's back before 9 1/2 minutes. One of the best tunes on here, and the longest. "You Grow More Beautiful" is a fun song with a catchy beat. "Animal Ghost" opens with flute, percussion and synths before a dance beat comes in with vocals. Guitar comes in on the chorus. Violin takes it's turn when the chorus returns the second time. Flute is back 4 minutes in. "Soft Shoulders" sounds like early PORCUPINE TREE, a top three tune for me.

"Shell Of A Fighter" is another song dominated by that dance beat. Piano 3 minutes in. I like when it becomes fuller sounding 6 minutes in. "Teardrop Fall" is another catchy dance tune. "Watching Over Me" features vocals, guitar and percussion. Nice string arrangement after 3 1/2 minutes. "Simple" starts off poorly for me. A dance beat 1 1/2 minutes in doesn't help either. The female vocal melodies are good though. It gets intense after 4 minutes. It ends in a haunting fashion with no melody. Interesting. "Things Change" is by far the best track on here for my tastes. Mostly for the guitar that comes in before 4 1/2 minutes and continues ripping it up until after 7 minutes. I'm cheering and wanting more, but the album's over.

I just don't enjoy this enough to give it 4 stars.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars A good mixture of atmospheres, instrumental work, dance beats, attractive vocals and balladry ooze through this classy recording which-- undeniably-- is a big improvement sonically over "Love Blows." "Flowermouth" sees a very similar set of songs performed with much more variability and creativeness, incorporating many more instruments which help impart a stronger impact than before. Wilson's guitar has a stronger presence throughout, and the atmospherics are as a general thing of higher quality both in their performance and recording.

The opening ballad "Angel Gets Caught in a Beauty Trap" will likely hook the listener immediately, with dynamic instrumental work and the unique Fripp sound finishing the job. Successive traps are admittedly not as good, having a stronger pop feel to them; No-Man is at its best at a slow tempo and with heaps of symphonic textures to wash over the listener, not with a dance loop pulsing out stale beats. Fortunately these fine moments out number the few bad, and I recommend "Flowermouth" to any seeking something soft and laid-back to listen to while retaining an artsy feel.

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

Review by russellk
5 stars It's no coincidence that TALK TALK's manager also managed NO-MAN at this stage of their career. This album has the same minimalist pop/progressive sensibility as do TALK TALK's last two albums, 'Spirit of Eden' and 'Laughing Stock'.

This is the first of two essential NO-MAN recordings. I tend to over-use adjectives, so I'll be careful and say that on this album NO-MAN find their voice - and it is one of gentle beauty, of wonder mixed with the mundane, awe at the ordinary. I can see why STEVEN WILSON would want to remain allied to someone with TIM BOWNESS's inward vision, despite all the success WILSON has experienced with other projects.

'Angel Caught in the Beauty Trap' tells us all we need to know about this band, now reduced to a twosome (COLEMAN still guests, along with a long list of prog-rock and art-rock luminaries). Liquid synth loops, BOWNESS's reflective voice, piano, trumpet, violin, sax, frippertronics, guitar all layered to create a mesmerising sound that haunts the listener like the very best minimalist music can do. The falling piano motif accompanied by BOWNESS's words 'Even now I see you fall' is melancholic and evocative. Listening to this makes my chest ache with suppressed emotion.

Devotees of NO-MAN's pre-'Flowermouth' sound were surprised to say the least by this incarnation, the opening track in particular. Here WILSON brings all the space rock skills he's honed on 'Voyage 34' and 'Up the Downstair' and recreates them with a full band and a dance beat. At this point in WILSON's career, NO-MAN got the best songs. PORCUPINE TREE was merely a solo project, a sideshow to this. More palatable, perhaps, to progressive ears, but this is, in my opinion, the better music.

'You Grow More Beautiful' reintroduces dreamy pop, but with more sophistication than on the previous year's release. 'Animal Ghost' is again minimalist, but with a big beat and lush bass underpinning the atmospherics. Synth, flute and beat provide a platform for the mind to soar. As other reviewers have noted, 'Shell of a Fighter' is outstanding, both lyrically and musically, a typical NO-MAN two-parter, minimalist dance to start with, with a quiet central section and an explosive finale with great guitar work. 'Simple' and 'Things Change' are the album's other essential tracks. 'Simple' uses a LISA GERRARD voice sample (she was commonly sampled in the early days of UK techno, by ORBITAL for example) to create its IDM atmosphere, and concludes with a gorgeous extended bass and synth melody and a minute of spacey keyboards. 'Things Change' is another two-parter, a simple organ motif opening and building to an epic guitar solo. Irresistible.

NO-MAN was part of the One Little Indian roster, well known for its techno and arty acts (BJORK in particular). It's as well to remember this when considering a purchase. But if you're broad-minded enough to consider good music from whatever source, this is an outstanding album. Anyone interested in PORCUPINE TREE's space-rock phase ought to acquire this CD, reissued in 1999 with two extra tracks from 'Flowermix' (one a remix of 'Angel').

A genuine five stars, with the caveat that at this transitional point in their career NO-MAN are not primarily a progressive act. The brave, however, are in for a treat.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.
Review by JLocke
4 stars No-Man is a strange one for me. At times I find myself getting in the mood to hear their music, but at other times the music itself ends up being such a mixed bag that I lose that high rather quickly. I think the more recent releases from the band are more-or- less 'not my cup of tea', but Flowermouth is really quite good, if not a little unexpected.

So, obviously I am interested in this project because Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree initially intended this to be his main project, but PT's success turned those tables for him rather quickly, and now No-Man takes a backseat to almost every other project the man works on. He isn't the singer, here, which is a little disappointing, but you get used to it. As far as I know, he isn't the main lyricist, either, which would account for the excessively corny subjects most of these songs seem to be surrounded by.

I'm warning you now: if you expect No-Man to be anything at all like Porcupine Tree, you're going to be sorely disappointed. In a way, it's ironic, because the early days of PT saw some truly brilliant modern Space-Rock to come from wilson, and since No-Man is very spacey and psychedelic itself, one would assume that early PT and No-Man have a good deal in common musically. That couldn't be any further from the truth. While the Space-Rock era of Porcupine Tree was full of interesting, fairly fast-paced trippy Rock beats, No-Man is in many ways a Pop group with psychedelic trimmings. The majority of the music is soft, ballad-esque and straightforward melodically and structurally, and yet through the actual presentation courtesy of Wilson, it feels more experimental than perhaps it actually is.

Much of the instrumentation is Steven Wilson all the way, and his Prog Rock influence fill the bars of the music with airy grace; undertones of the more experimental side of his compositional skills are present, but those elements never raise much above a whisper. You'll hear a lot of unusual sounds and ambience cushioning the live instruments, and you'll find yourself escaping into the soundscapes much like you would on an Ozric Tentacles record, and yet at the end of the day, this is still heavily rooted in Pop when it really counts, and that is why many may not find this band (or even this particular album) to their liking.

I mentioned the Ozrics for a specific reason; the opening riff on the first song, ''Angel Gets Caught in the Beauty Trap'' (what an incredibly cheesy title), sounds like it could have literally been lifted out of an Ozric Tentacles album. Yet, as I said, despite the close brushes this music has with Space-Rock, and despite how often that may occur, it doesn't make this band's music 'Prog' in and of itself. I think it progressive in that it pushes traditional music into braver territory, and successfully blends the genres together, but don't jump into Flowermouth thinking it's going to be the second coming, because it just isn't that kind of a record, and No-Man simply isn't that kind of a band.

The definitions and expectations aside, this is very strong music. I think it's certainly better than what Wilson release that year under the Porcupine Tree banner (the Staircase Infinites EP), and musically, it is clearly the spiritual successor to PT's Up The Downstair, which was released the previous year. The same musical tendencies are present here that were rampant on that release, yet much more subtle and buried underneath the more traditional music. Having said that, nothing else about the two albums are the same. At all. Up The Downstair had a lot more going on than this one, and in terms of mood, they are almost polar opposites.No-Man is mellowed out alot of the time, while Porcupine Tree is much more aggressive, and always has been, even during the early days.

The personnel on the album other than WIlson and Bowness are quite impressive, and it makes for good quality performances, yet I do feel that singer Tim Bowness struggles a bit with his own voice; often straining when hitting higher ranges, and whispering tunelessly when the notes in the melody drop below a certain point. I'm not sure if this was all done intentionally as a way of acting out the romantic attitude presented in the words themselves, or if is truly because Bowness isn't a very capable lead vocalist. I haven't heard all of this band's work yet, but I have heard enough to make a fairly educated guess that it's the latter possibility that rings truest. That's the biggest shame of it all, because we all know Steven Wilson has a very mellow, lovely singing voice, and he could have pulled it off much better. Then again, Bowness isn't credit as playing any instruments on this, so I suppose he wouldn't have had anything else to do if he didn't sing, here.

Regardless of whether or not the singer was the right choice, or not, Flowermouth is still a very well-done album, but one mustn't expect the wrong thing when diving into this music for the first time. It's mellow, beautiful and almost completely different from anything Wilson's other, more popular project has done. If you can accept that, I think you'll have a fun time. It's exceptional by No-Man standards, and as an entry point for the band, you can't really beat it.

So go, listen and enjoy. Just don't expect anything more than what it is: Fun, relaxing, slightly-corny (from a lyrical standpoint!) Space-Pop.

Happy, mellow listening.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have a longstanding and troublesome relation with this album. It goes back to the first time I loaned it from the library back in 1995. I had the best part of my new wave and art rock adoration behind me and the last thing I wanted to hear was a band revisiting the sound of Japan and Cocteau Twins. Especially the Sylvian cloned vocals warned me off.

Looking from 2010, I like some parts of the album now but it's still my least favoured No-man, and I hold it responsible for not attracting me enough to investigate "that other project" that Steve Wilson was involved in. So in fact I blame it for missing out on my favoured Porcupine Tree years. Of course, it's an irrational and senseless reaction but I need a scapegoat here!

The album is a quite a departure from the proto trip-hop and techno-pop of the previous releases. There are still traces of it, but it also shows the ability of these two guys to create fantastic layers of sound. The opener for instance is very laid back and smooth, but still it has that pervasive quality to get under your skin and enchant you.

My disappointment comes from the dominating silky soft pop lounge mood of the album. It works well for a couple of songs but overall the material isn't compelling enough. A track like Soft Shoulders could have been a fine song if Robert Smith had got his hands on it, but Tim Bowness whispers all life out of it. His voice does not appeal to me for more then a few songs. Compensating it with awkward samples like Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard in Simple doesn't improve these matters. Also the cheesy drum tracks that feature in most songs don't help.

A lot of criticism to say that it is mixed bag for me. Some greatness but also too much dated pop flavours. I won't close the door on it yet though. It's an album that can still continue to grow with the passing of years. 2.5 stars, I'll up it as everybody obviously likes it.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Flowermouth" is the second full-length studio album by UK music act No-Man. The album was released through One Little Indian Records in June 1994. No-Man is a duo consisting of lead vocalist/lyricist Tim Bowness and Porcupine Tree frontman and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson. "Flowermouth" features guest performances by prolific names such as Richard Barbieri, Chris Maitland, Mel Collins, Robert Fripp and Ben Coleman.

Stylistically the material on the album is ambient and slightly experimental pop music. The atmosphere is of the music is predominantly dreamy and melancholic. All 9 tracks are quality compositions and even when the band flirts with dance music it sounds pretty great. This is a big improvement over their rather forgettable debut album "Loveblows & Lovecries - A Confession" (1993). The sound production is warm, organic, and detailed and provide exactly the right environment for the material to shine. Donīt expect this to sound anything like Porcupine Tree just because Steven Wilson is involved. His presence is strongly felt but No-Man is an entirely different beast.

The musicianship is strong on the album, but thatīs no surprise if youīre familiar with the talents of Steven Wilson and the guest musicians who play on the album. I assume that most drums on the album are programmed as Chris Maitland only plays drums on a couple of tracks. I wouldnīt call Tim Bowness a particularly distinct sounding vocalist but his calm, subdued, and melancholic sounding vocals suit the music well. The addition of violin parts courtesy of Ben Coleman is a really great asset to the sound of the album.

"Flowermouth" is arguably a step up on quality for No-Man compared to the previous releases and fans of dreay melancholic pop music should give this one a listen. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

Review by admireArt
5 stars Underrated falls short; considering so many virtues. This Masterpiece has been going around since 1994. Featuring an *All-Star lineup, which actually works out as such. No gaps or expendable cuts. You will be turned on from start to finish. (Remastered version adds up some uneditted outtakes)

I certainly will not write a track by track review, but rest assure that each composition is daring and grounbreaking and each song fits perfectly one before, and after the other. The feeling in general as most of No-Manīs works is conceptual (unrequited and lost loves on this one). But this concept is so well threaded, that I was caught by far by the astounding variety of musical languages and last but not least: their INTELLIGENT AND EMOTIONAL compositions as their perfect-pitch performance. What really makes any kind of music go beyond the limits of an audience or genre. Why it ended in a Prog page is a Master-Stroke! Considering the authors themselves were aiming to create an album of "timeless pop" music!

I am thankful that their concept of pop goes beyond the well established walls of commercial formulas pushed by the markets. Pop itself it is not. Progressive frenzy and sublime moments of introspection as only this "duo" (Tim Bowness-vocals & lyrics, Steven Wilson:instruments) can deliver... And timeless; oh yesss!!! very much,1994 amazing!

Why 5 stars; because nothing comes close to this kind of perfection and austerity (with a line-up like that it would have been tempting to do the opposite!) in an ever evolving original style. Nothing sounds like No-Man but No-Man. And "Flowermouth" is unique even to them. In my opinion; I insist it has to do with the wide spectrum of musical languages they subtly cover on the way. So pop alone it is not exactly, prog it is completely and of the best kind! Do not miss this work!!

A Masterpiece from A to Z, 5 stars without blinking.

*Lisa Gerrardīs involvement is reduced to some loops,but she was so thrilled by the result ("Simple") that she allowed her name to appear in the guest-list.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Flowermouth is No-Man's 2nd full album and what a beauty it is. It is full of great, atmospheric sounds, sometimes ambient in a few short passages, sometimes featuring drum loops you can dance to, other times offering an atmospheric jazz/rock fusion and other times discordant sounds. Each track has it's own great characteristics and surprises, the one constant being Bowness' airy vocals which work in every scenario presented here.

This album is also loaded with guest artists that add to the quality of this music. It's a huge thing first of all that the usual two man crew of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson are helming the band and we are in capable enough hands right then and there, but you also get so much more here. In "Angel Gets Caught in the Beauty Trap", you get the muted jazz trumpet sounds of the great Ian Carr, in "Shell of a Fighter", you get full on space rock sounds of Wilson's Porcupine Tree co-hort, Richard Baribieri, and in the beautiful "Simple" you get looped vocals of Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance that add to the mystery of that song. On top of that you even get some killer guitar solos from Steven Wilson and plenty of evidence of his involvement throughout the album, even though the overall sound is far from Porcupine Tree, but it is still brilliant.

Okay, so if that isn't enough for you, let's throw in 2 King Crimson greats, Robert Fripp who plays guitar on 5 of the tracks and adds some Frippertronics on 6 tracks (including the 2 bonus tracks) with 'Born Simple' being all instrumental with all Frippertronics and Steve Wilson's electronics making for something that sounds more like Wilson's other project, Bass Communion. Also, Mel Collins from the earlier (and also most recent) incarnations of King Crimson plays sax and/or flute on 3 of the tracks (including a lovely flute solo on the amazing song "Animal Ghost"). What other excuse would you need to check this album out?

The other reason for the importance of this album is the excellent musicianship, production and songwriting prevalent throughout this album. Everything here is utilized and executed wonderfully. The overall sound is atmospheric like I said before but with so much more thrown in to keep it interesting. The entire album, even with all these great musicians participating, is very cohesive even in it's variety. There is plenty here for space rock fans, for electronic fans, for jazz fusion lovers and yes even some passages that would please avant garde fans. All of this is tied together by Tim's vocals and Steven's instrumentation. No-Man was a very talented band, but there were only a few of their albums that were able to reach the essential status. This is one of them. There is quite a varied amount of No-Man material out there, most of it hard to find in the U.S., but this album is definite must-have for Steven Wilson fans, you definitely hear a lot of his influence here. Also, KC or Robert Fripp fans should search out this album because he has so much influence and guest time on this album to be considered a band member.

Very psychedelic at times and very complex and jazzy at others, yet the album is very accessible. This it a great doorway into the music of so many artists, but also for Progressive Rock in general. It is an underrated masterpiece and should be explored by all lovers of the genre.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars If the first album of NO-MAN was purely Pop that had nothing to do with Prog, this one is far more interesting. There are still Pop elements, but so much more with many instruments that bring the songs to another level. I am thinking of that beautiful classical piano, a little saxophone, and a trumpet passage. The songs are sung by the melancholic voice of Tim Bowness. The instrumentation is provided by Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp, and others. The guitar is heavier at the end of the album with a terrific long guitar solo. There are some classical arrangements where you can hear the violin. The result is a beautiful atmospheric rock album that I just discovered recently. If the first album was too much on the Pop side and the recent releases too ambient for my taste, this one is just what I needed.
Review by Warthur
5 stars No-Man's last major release on OLI saw the band sufficiently demoralised by record company mandates that they decided to simply ignore what the company wanted entirely and just follow their own muse. As a result, they branch out of the narrow trip-hop lane they had occupied for their earlier OLI releases and explored a broader dream pop/progressive pop universe.

A seismic shift occurred here in the band lineup, with Ben Coleman departing the group, credited here in only a guest capacity. As well as simply wanting to find better-paying work, Coleman was finding that he was becoming more peripheral to the group, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has admitted since that things had reached a point where No-Man's music needed a broader range of instrumental textures and crowbarring a violin solo into every song had becomes burdensome.

The benefits of a wider range of guests become apparent here, including Ian Carr of Nucleus fame, several future full- time members of Porcupine Tree (Richard Barbieri and Colin Maitland), Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, and King Crimson luminaries Mel Collins and Robert Fripp. With its centre of gravity in the artier, more laid-back end of downtempo, the album manages to show a progressive ethos without working in the more classically psych-prog/space rock notes that Wilson was reserving for Porcupine Tree.

The wake of this album would see further changes for No-Man; they would depart the OLI label, continue to evolve their sound, and put their live appearances on hiatus, not performing onstage again until 2006. With Porcupine Tree beginning to seriously gather steam at this point, it's perhaps understandable that No-Man activities were scaled back at this point. In the intervening years a new No-Man album has been a comparatively rare treat whilst Porcupine Tree has given us an embarrassment of riches (five new studio albums from No-Man, nine from Porcupine Tree, and way more live releases from the latter at that) and Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness have both put out a plethora of solo albums and collaborations along the way.

In other words, a case can certainly be made that Flowermouth represents the last point when No-Man was the central motivating force of Steven Wilson's musical endeavours - the main project which was given top priority out of all his activities at the time. On Flowermouth, we can hear why he considered this music worth committing to.

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5 stars perfect in anyway...a real gem in Mr Wilson's career... it's about everything in this album that makes it flawless: vocals & lyrics: delicate, warm voice chanting poems.. cover art: blue and 'blue' just like the mood of the music.. music:i won't comment on Mr Wilson's fine work here ... (read more)

Report this review (#85903) | Posted by toolis | Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The album as a whole lacks a masterpiece only because the middle of the cd is not as good as the begeining or the end. For me I was not wacky with the bet in teardrop fall but Tim saves it with his vocals and shell of a fighter gos on to long but I really like the first 4 minutes, I was also ... (read more)

Report this review (#45490) | Posted by | Sunday, September 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is by far the best no-man album, especially when coupled with flowermix - far from being a mere remix album, they are like two very different pairs of glasses looking upon the same scenes. Angel Caught in the Beauty Trap is just gentle - some of the finest and most melodic solos and mi ... (read more)

Report this review (#18247) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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