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WILD OPERA

No-Man

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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No-Man Wild Opera album cover
3.49 | 76 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Radiant city (3:31)
2. Pretty genius (3:51)
3. Infant phenomenon (3:21)
4. Sinister jazz (4:18)
5. Housewives hooked on heroin (4:39)
6. Libertine libretto (3:20)
7. Taste my dream (6:09)
8. Dry cleaning ray (3:26)
9. Sheeploop (4:01)
10. My rival trevor (4:20)
11. Time travel in Texas (4:24)
12. My revenge on Seattle (4:42)
(silence) (2:00)
- hidden track -
13. Wild opera (3:06)

Total Time: 55:09

Tracklisting for 2010 2CD release/remaster on Kscope:

CD1 - Wild Opera:
1 Radiant City (3.31)
2 Pretty Genius (3.51)
3 Infant Phenomenon (3.21)
4 Sinister Jazz (4.18)
5 Housewives Hooked On Heroin (4.39)
6 Libertine Libretto (3.20)
7 Taste my Dream (6.09)
8 Dry cleaning ray (3.26)
9 Sheeploop (4.01)
10 My Rival Trevor (4.20)
11 Time Travel In Texas (4.24)
12 My Revenge On Seattle (4.42)
13 (silence) (2.00)
14 wild opera (3.06)

CD2 - Dry Cleaning Ray plus:
1. Dry Cleaning Ray (Remix) (edit) (2.53)
2. Sweetside Silver Night (4.02)
3. Jack The Sax (4.17)
4. Diet Mothers (4.56)
5. Urban Disco (3.17)
6. Punished For Being Born (2.18)
7. Kightlinger (2.44)
8. Evelyn (Song Of Slurs) (4.04)
9. Sicknote (8.57)
Bonus Tracks:
10. Hit The Ceiling
11. Where i'm Calling From
12. Housewives Hooked On Heroin (alternate version)
13. My Rival Trevor (alternate version)
14. Time Travel In Texas (radio session)
15. Pretty Genius (radio session)

Lyrics

Search NO-MAN Wild Opera lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search NO-MAN Wild Opera tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Bowness / vocals, tapes, words
- Steven Wilson / instruments, tapes, backing vocals (2,5)

WITH:
- Richard Barbieri / sample material
- Natalie Box / violins (1,2)
- Mel Collins / sample material, saxophone (1)
- Robert Fripp / sample material

Releases information

3rd Stone Ltd. STONE 027CD
2CD Kscope 2010

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to progkidjoel for the last updates
Edit this entry

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NO-MAN Wild Opera ratings distribution


3.49
(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
18%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

NO-MAN Wild Opera reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the album in which BOWNESS and WILSON take their obsession with small things to its extreme. The soundscapes are small, a significant change from their previous album, 'Flowermouth'. The subjects of the songs are also small: BOWNESS's lyrics have always focused on the intimate and the seemingly trivial, but the emotional palette here, while even deeper than before, is very narrow.

The music of 'Wild Opera' has few of the space-rock leanings of 'Flowermouth', instead finding a hybrid place between the techno-pop of 1993 and the space-rock of 1994. There are far more jazz motifs on the album than techno or space-rock. There remains no moment when WILSON lets himself go: his instrumentation is uncharacteristically restrained and understated, giving the album a sophisticated, jazzy feel but, in my opinion, robbing it of the lush, wide dynamic that characterised all NO-MAN efforts after their debut ('Lovesighs'). The track lengths reflect this, averaging under four minutes and mostly doing without extended instrumental sections.

Despite this, there's plenty of interest here. The opener, 'Radiant City', is as good as anything on 'Loveblows & Lovecries'. 'Sinister Jazz' is exactly that, ultimately dispensable but of interest on first listen. The absurdly titled single 'Housewives Hooked on Heroin' lifts the album momentarily, which is then jerked sideways by the experimentation of 'Libertine Libretto'. 'Taste My Dream' is more atmospheric, followed by another single, 'Dry Cleaning Ray' - also the title of an EP that I regard as a companion (and slightly superior) album to 'Wild Opera'. The song is well worth a listen. 'My Revenge on Seattle' is perhaps the most accomplished song here, harking back to 'Flowermouth' for its beat and building finish.

I'm speculating here, but I suspect the key to understanding this album is the rise of PORCUPINE TREE. STEVEN WILSON was now in the difficult position of distributing his talent and songwriting ability between two major projects. I can imagine him having to decide which direction to shape a particular song, and 'Wild Opera' thus ended up sounding atypical for NO-MAN because it evolved in contrast to PORCUPINE TREE's 'Signify'. As PT's star rose, so NO-MAN went into limbo, and the next NO-MAN album did not appear until five years later, in 2001. By then, of course, PORCUPINE TREE was well established as WILSON's major vehicle.

Sophisticated, small scale and interesting, this album is by no means my favourite NO-MAN album. I'd direct listeners first to 'Flowermouth' or the indescribably brilliant 2003 offering, 'Together We're Stranger'. But come back to 1996/7, by all means, and listen to this album and the 'Dry Cleaning Ray' EP.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#144894) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Wild Opera is modern prog and therefore will obviously not appeal to many PA purists as this is way raunchier electronica than many would accept and hence,, far from the usual prog suspects: Sympho, Retro, Rio, Neo and Proto (sounds like the Marx Brothers!, where's Chico, Harpo and Groucho when you need them?). This is progressive Dance/Electronica with an edge, insanily superb production, oblique rhythms, odd effects, quirky patterns and outright disturbing themes. The opener "Radiant City" is a fine example of psychotic drum beats, probing bass synth, zippy guitar thrashes, all sounding very cosmo-urbane and contemporary, laced with a Mel Collins sax eruption set to disturb loudly and jostle with creepy lunacy. "Pretty Genius" is a smooth groove, equal doses of chilly electro-jazz, very soundtrackish strings a la Hooverphonic/Portishead, some fluttering flute wisps and those slippery preoccupied vocals by Mr.Bowness. I love this kind of orchestrated cool, so I am in all the way! "Infant Phenomenon" is a paranoid jumble, a bruising affair led by a saturated fuzzed out bass, with weird and unblessed exhortations ("Sickening Sensation of Love") that reveal a deep inner turmoil. In order to confirm the latent schizophrenia, the somberly magnificent "Sinister Jazz" affords some spoken word spectral oddity verging on intense evil ("and never going home"), both threatening and glitzy, hence the propos title. Again, love the bizarre! And should you want to further stretch the envelope of insanity, the curiously perverted "Housewives Hooked on Heroin" strays into the abysses of despair and agony, a drugged out lament about apathy and deranged dysfunction, ("His paradise became his living Hell"), a raging guitar mid section that illustrates the disdain of a troubled soul. Weirder yet is the following "Libertine Libretto" an experimental, no wait, just a mental whack out, that unifies dissonance, echoed vocal passages, a loopy collage of disjointed doodling piano, buzz-fuzz guitar and effects into this massive cauldron of madness. The contrasting "Taste my Dream" is a celestial ballade that flows groovily along for over 6 minutes, unyielding in structure and adamant in melody, with some gorgeous pools of mood music, exceptionally expressive vocals from Tim Bowness and overall top-notch instrumental expertise. "Dry Cleaning Ray" is the proverbial pop song here, a scintillating piece of music that is both catchy and accessible (a bit like the future Blackfield), with a repeated organ roll that sears the brain. Hard to resist this again, it's Wilson at his best, with that ability to squeeze out a huge chorus from literally nothing! "Sheeploop" grooves unsettlingly, sort of a cold -jazz electronic ode to runaway from a vodka martini overload, stressed by the urban merry-go-round, ("this loving demands no part of me") and passes out with bubbling synths. "My Rival Trevor" is a funny tirade, a quite amusing synth-pop ride with muffled voices, hysterical axe drippings, hinting at "Clever Trevor", the Ian Dury hit from the 80s. The huge drum programming sound works well in distilling the cold harsh reality of modern electronic music. "Time Travel in Texas" continues the schizo theme, ("See Where it Gets us" rhymes with the title, cute!), essentially a minimalist effect-laden brew that pursues the inner scorn and crushes it further. Bizarre again, but a good bizarre! "My Revenge on Seattle" has some extraordinary vocals from Tim, soaring like some mythical bird over vast horizons of sultry synthesized winds, puffy clouds of piano and placid beats, and the immortal last words "maybe there is more to life than writing songs , maybe not..."! A hidden track ends this genial recording , the title track "Wild Opera" with a sustained piano note gurgling with synthesized wasps, thriving bass blasting away, a shard of dissonance cutting nicely through the sinews. Definitely a worthy follow up to Flowermouth and a strong recommendation for the sonically adventurous. I love wild opera anyway .4.5 untamed Verdis

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#204324) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Wild Opera is No-man's third official full length. It marks a great musical development for No-Man as it mixes the best of their early techno-pop debut with the more spacey Flowermouth. The album is very eclectic and absorbs all kind of influences from other developments that were going on in the 90's sub-cultures and underground.

Radiant City is a great opener, with a beat reminiscent of Industrial pop of the end of the 80's. The funky-techno beat and droning vocals remind me of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, but most people will be more familiar with Nine Inch Nails' debut.

Pretty Genius is another fabulous track, pure trip-hop with some interesting flute samples and spacey sounds. It never reaches the lonely heights of Massive Attack and Portishead that it so clearly borrows from, but it's good nevertheless.

Industrial jungle beats follow on Infant Phenomenon. It has a decent groove but it lacks a memorable hook to make it really work.

Sinister Jazz explains itself. It starts from the trip-hop of Portishead but it amplifies the sonic experimentation and alienated feel of that music. This track is very minimal, mainly repeating the basic theme for 5 minutes but what an atmosphere. A real gem. Fans of Cinematic Orchestra or Thievery Corporation should sure check this out.

Housewives Hooked on Heroin makes place for a more standard but very catchy rock song with a kind of psychedelic vibe. Wilson does some backing vocals here and provides for a beautiful harmonious chorus. This chorus is so catchy that it almost sounds like the kind pop classic that everyone knows. But be not fooled. The spacey arrangement and unsettling subject material might put off mainstream audiences.

Libertine Libretto is an experimental beat, distorted vocals, dissonant samples, eerie repeated guitar loops. Just like Infant Phenomenon, this songs misses that sparkle needed to make it memorable.

Taste My Dream goes in entirely different directions again. A crooner ballad on a discreet trip-hop beat. It's a beautiful fragile song that couldn't be sung by anybody else then Tim Bowness. He's strong throughout the album, but his worried tone really does magic here. It brings the listener in the mood for a more of the same dreamy melancholy, but psychedelic pop is what we get.

But whatever style Wilson and Bowness try their hand on it all works here. Dry Cleaning Ray is fantastic. A psychedelic organ twirls loops around your ears and is simply impossible to resist. Almost offhandedly they charm you into an even deeper spell with the dreamy chorus that follow. Genius really.

Sheeploop gets the best out of Portishead's loungey soft jazz. It's a very minimalist track with a repeated beat and looping jazz samples. The instrumentation is very sparse, but again Wilson shows his unmatched talent for laying down very subtle atmospheres. Another very strong track that won't disappoint trip-hop fans.

At that point the album seems to run out of fuel. My Rival Trevor and Time Travel come off as less inspired exercises in 80's pop, similar to what featured on the debut. The solution is to skip right to the sugar-sweet sadness of My Revenge On Seatle, which could have been a fitting closer immediately after Sheeploop.

Despite the unfortunate slip at the end, I do enjoy the continuous 37 minute minutes of excellence on this dark art rock trip. 3.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#280584) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Latest members reviews

4 stars I'm going to assume that most of the readers of this review are fans of PORCUPINE TREE and Steven Wilson and are now looking to collect No-man's back catalog to 'get more' as is, was my case. Well, I think you will get more with Wid Opera. I'm still collecting No-man, and probably the main que ... (read more)

Report this review (#18254) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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