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FLOWERMOUTH

No-Man

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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No-Man Flowermouth album cover
3.79 | 123 ratings | 13 reviews | 26% 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)

Bonus tracks on 2004 remaster:
10. Angeldust (9:11)
11. Born Simple (12:09)

Total Time: 57:26 / 78:46 with bonus tracks

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Bowness / vocals, words
- Steven Wilson / instruments

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

Releases information

One Little Indian Records TPLP67 / MC / CD(UK) Nipon Columbia Japan - re-released in 1999 and in 2004 (with extra tracks).

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


3.79
(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

NO-MAN Flowermouth reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#18243) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004

Review by Tristan Mulders
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Send comments to Tristan Mulders (BETA) | Report this review (#18245) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well at least we get some variety on this one, as well as some brighter, uptempo passages.The problem for me 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. Mel Collins plays sax and flute, while PORCUPINE TREE alumni Chris Maitland and Richard Barbieri also contribute.

"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.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#88813) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 02, 2006

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#140686) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#144396) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007

Review by 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.

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#204131) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009

Review by JLocke
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to JLocke (BETA) | Report this review (#272008) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
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.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#274962) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Flowermouth is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK experimental pop act No- Man. 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.

The music on the album is a kind of ambient experimental pop music. The atmosphere is warm and melancholic. All 9 tracks are quality compositions and even when the band flirts with dance music it actually sounds pretty great. This is a big improvement over their forgettable debut album Loveblows & Lovecries - A Confession (1993). The production is warm and detailed and help to give the songs life. Don┤t 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 that┤s no surprise if you┤re familiar with the talents of Steven Wilson and the guest musicians that 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 wouldn┤t call Tim Bowness a very distinct sounding vocalist but his calm and melancholic sounding vocals suit the music well. The addition of especially the violin by Ben Coleman is really a great asset to the sound.

Flowermouth is a good album by No-Man and if I┤m in the right mood I really enjoy it. A 3.5 star rating is deserved. It┤s close to a 4 star rating though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#280669) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 06, 2010

Latest members reviews

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 ce ... (read more)

Report this review (#904359) | Posted by admireArt | Friday, February 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 06, 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 04, 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 05, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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