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Carptree Man Made Machine album cover
3.67 | 131 ratings | 11 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score (5:29)
2. Sunshine Waters (5:48)
3. The Weakening Sound (6:21)
4. Tilting The Scales (6:50)
5. The Man You Just Became (5:15)
6. Man Made Machine (6:18)
7. Burn To Something New (5:58)
8. In The Centre Of An Empty Space (5:31)
9. The Recipe (2:31)
10. This Is Home (8:17)

Total time 58:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Niclas Flinck / vocals
- Carl Westholm / piano, synthesizer, vocoder, Theremin, choir arrangements (3)

- Ulf Edelönn / electric & acoustic guitars, bass (6,8,10)
- Stefan Fandén / bass (1,2,4,5), baritone guitar (8)
- Jan Hellman / bass (7), electric upright bass (3)
- Jejo Perkovic / drums
- Jonas Waldefeldt / tambourine & percussion (1,2,4,7), backing vocals (1,4)
- Öivin Tronstad / backing vocals (2,8,10)
- Cia Backman / backing vocals (1,2,4,5,7)
- The Trollhättans Chamber Choir / chorus vocals (3)
- Olle Zandén / choir conductor (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Pål Olofsson

CD Fosfor Creation ‎- CWNF 3 (2005, Europe)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 223 (2005, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CARPTREE Man Made Machine ratings distribution

(131 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

CARPTREE Man Made Machine reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Carptree continues its standing in the music style that blends elements of symphonic, modern rock, classic, orchestra and pop music into coherent composition wonderfully mixed with excellent sonic sounds. "Man Made Machine" is the band third effort in the form of studio album - released by InsideOut in late August for Europe market and September 2005 for USA market. This album confirms their music direction in the same vein with their two previous albums with more maturity in musicianship, songwriting and composition.

Carptree is basically a two-piece band comprising Niclas Flinck and Carl Westholm. Having known each other for 20 years and, now and then, playing together in different setups, they formed Carptree in 1997. Their debut album "Carptree" was released in 2001 and was well accepted throughout the world. The follow-up album "Superhero" was released in 2003 and received critical acclaim from the music industry and music critique. "Man Made Machine" is released with the same style but in a much darker nuance than its predecessors. Well, you might smell this from the cover artwork that seems very dark, doom and bleak? Beside Carl, Niclas and No Future Orchestra (come on guys, rename your orchestra! It's too pessimistic! Proggers should be very optimistic to see the future! No Future is not a good name at all.) , Trollhättans chamber choir appears on one song. No Future Orchestra (which should be renamed: Bright Future Orchestra - or something else which is optimistic) consists of musicians known from other, both small and big, Swedish acts.

The strong point of this album's composition is in the band's ability to write arrangements which have symphonic style, packaged with modern rock and great sonic quality. Superb voice quality of Niclas Flinck reminds me to the voice of Peter Gabriel or Johny Warman (once was popular in the early eighties, but I don't know where is he now?) or Rupert Hine. Carl Westholm's keyboard and piano work do not demonstrate his virtuosity. They sound simple and light but perfectly match with the music. Am sure that Westholm could play complicated notes but he's kind like hide it as the true aim of the band is probably how to create great music with simple notes but wonderful arrangements and catchy melodies. Westholm provides many piano textures during the stream of music offered here.

Don't expect that the music of Carptree is somewhat similar with Marillion, Pallas, Jadis or any other neo prog bands. It has its uniqueness that is not comparable to other bands, I think. However, the music reminds me to Peter Gabriel, Rupert Hine or Johny Warman, combined with Gary Wright (remember "Dream Weaver"?) but it's not exactly the same though. One thing for sure, the music is really rewarding. The opening track "Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score" (5:30) blends nicely the elements of progressive pop with excellent piano touches. Right after lyrical verses the music brings out a colossal nuance through a combination of orchestra, keyboard, piano and effects. Really cool! "Sunshine Waters" (5:48) begins with an exploratory soundscapes followed with powerful low register notes vocal. Oh man . what a great vocal line entrance! The acoustic guitar augments at background. And what happen next? It's a stream of light, melodic and wonderful music flow that combines nice piano, drums, orchestra and later followed with vocal. It's really wonderful! It's hard for people for not liking this song as it has excellent composition.

"The Weakening Sound" (6:23) starts ambient with simple piano touch that accompanies voice line. The song is really dark. "Tilting The Scales" (6:52) has a combination of soft acoustic guitar and piano followed with an upbeat music when vocal enters the music. The music turns quieter with electric piano solo featuring energetic vocal. Yeah, it reminds me to Rupert Hine's music even though it's totally different melody. The interlude part contains simple guitar solo combined with nice keyboard work and orchestra. Niclas voice is powerful. The song also contains breaks with simple riffs featuring punctuated singing style.

In "The Man You Just Became" (5:17), the way keyboard is played at the background reminds me to keyboard style of Earth & Fire's "Fanfare" with different melody. The title track "Man Made Machine" (6:18) is another excellent composition with energetic singing and percussion based rhythm section and floating keyboards / piano. Beautifully composed. "Burn To Something New" (5:58) starts off colossal with percussion and keyboard work followed with vocal. Keyboard sounds like a mellotron. This song has a wonderful interlude which associates us to the beach and it's floating wonderfully with the sounds of keyboards. The rest three tracks share similar style with previous ones. "In The Centre Of An Empty Space" (5:34) is an upbeat song with some guitar work at background; "The Recipe" (2:32) is like an accordion based music with vocal; "This Is Home" (8:17) concludes the album with even a much darker style.

As far as I know this is not a concept album, however, enjoying this album is recommended in its entirety because you can see the cohesiveness of the album and also the music changes in terms of style and composition. Carptree's music has been crafted so thinly so that the listeners may have a perception that this band has made the vocal part takes front role and the music is played softly at the background. It's something different and it's a highly recommended album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

PS. This review is dedicated to Ian Alterman, Andy Julias, Nirarta Samadhi and Hardiansyah Rizal. Enjoy!

Review by Menswear
4 stars Original, dark, weird and claustrophobic.

The best way to describe Man Made Machine is to analyse the front cover. Simply put, what you see is what you get. And what you see is an a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y gorgeous package. From the cover to the back, Carptree gets the award for wrapping their cd in such an exquisite artwork. I have a confession to make: I bought the cd because I liked the cover first. Sounds risky, you could end up with so much junk!...But you won't this time!

The mp3 sample from this cd could convince you to buy the record. Good choice, there's plenty more of that stuff on it. Carptree is capable of creating a bizarre rock that catches you by surprise at first, but since you don't hear that everyday you stick to it. The first half is softer, with long piano patterns and subtle keyboard twitches. When you hit the title song, they pull out the big guns with agressive distorded guitars and even darker, heavier atmosphere, the whole thing wrapped up constantly with high tech keyboard noises, ressembling at times of a modern android factory. The songs have a simple pattern of FM rock (chorus, verse,chorus) but where it stuns me is the way they wrap up the song into this thin / heavy aura of gloomy mystery. I mean the chorus is catchy, accessible to a lot of people (a la Peter Gabriel) but the meat around the bone is tough to chew at times.

Honestly, I never had such a HARD time to describe a record. Blend some Peter Gabriel Up period, with Boards of Canada, Radiohead and Knight Area. But again, the songs have their own ways, every one of them. The thing that I'm really sure is the deep, blackish, moody atmosphere without being gothic like White Willow or depressive like VDGG.

An album of nightime but opposite of romance.

An automaton out of Lang's Metropolis.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars I discovered this Swedish band while surfing on a Dutch progrock site, it was reviewed very positive and high charted in the monthly Progrock Top 10. This is their third album, I was curious because I had never heard of this band before.

During the first listening session I got more and more impressed by Carptree: their compositions are very strong featuring great variety, lots of dynamic, many captivating musical ideas, surprising breaks and it all sounds very melodic, harmonic, pleasant and, last but not least, accessible. I notice influences from The Beatles, Queen and 10CC to Radiohead and Coldplay. The songs Sunshine Waters (sparkling piano, wonderful violin-Mellotron and twanging guitars) and The Wakening Sound (beautiful keyboards and an alienating atmosphere with melancholic vocals) contain tension between the mellow/dreamy pieces and the bombastic parts, very compelling and exciting. The track Tilting The Scales has a catchy refrain ("shot down, head first"), it could have been a hit-single but it's also wonderfully coloured by Floydian guitar, a Fender Rhodes electric piano sound, beautiful vocals and some fiery eruptions. The dreamy and compelling The Man You Just Became reminds me strongly of The Moody Blues and Procol Harum because of the melodic sound, warm vocals and violin-Mellotron waves. The other tracks deliver tasteful keyboards, often early Fish inspired vocals, many vocal harmonies and great musical ideas.

In my opinion Carptree has released a splendid album that will appeal to many progheads!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars CARPTREE are a Swedish duo (vocals & keyboards) who fill out their sound with the help of the NO FUTURE ORCHESTRA, who add bass, drums and guitars amongst other things. There are also two backup singers and a choir. The music is fairly laid back and atmospheric for the most part, although there certainly are some powerful moments. The singer has been described as Fish or Gabriel-like, but in my opinion that's being very generous.

"Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score" opens with piano as a thunder storm can be heard. The vocals come in and are reserved. A full sound before 2 minutes with some scorching guitar before 3 1/2 minutes. "Sunshine Waters" opens with vocal melodies as reserved vocals join in. A fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in with piano. It really sounds like mellotron here, but none is credited. The contrast between the mellow and fuller sections continues. Great sound 4 1/2 minutes with some excellent guitar after 5 minutes. "The Weakening Sound" is darker with piano and fragile vocals. A fuller sound with the choir sounds impressive 3 minutes in. Lots of atmosphere follows.

"Tilting The Scales" has a pastoral intro that doesn't last a minute as vocals and a full sound kicks in. The contrast continues. "The Man You Became" is orchestral to begin with as birds come in chirping then spoken words. "Man Made Machine" is led by drums, vocals and piano. It gets pretty intense 4 minutes in. Amazing section. "Burn To Something New" features some nice bass early. Drums take the lead 3 minutes in. Not really a fan of this one. "In The Centre Of An Empty Space" becomes uptempo and fairly powerful but I can't get into it. "The Recipe" features accordion and vocals throughout. It's pretty silly really. "This Is Home" opens with these breathing sounds in an experimental intro. A heavy beat comes in with vocals. Lots of chaos late.

I'm just not enjoying this record. It's still worth 3 stars but barely.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Carptree is an intristing band coming from Sweden formed by Carl Westholm a keybordist that played in progressive metal band Abstrakt Algebra in mid '90's, a band that I've appreciated a lot in my youth. Man made machine is from 2005 and is their third album. Carptree performs a kind of neo prog quite dark with modern arrangemts, not far from Blackfiled, no comparations here with for ex Iq, Marillion or Palls, this is the kind of mid tempo neo prog with a specific scandinavian feel, an ok album in the end but I don't considered something special. Overall are no weak tracks here, but aswell no highlights, th sound fall in the category that at least to my ears is to modern kind of neo prog. I'm maybe old fashioned even I'm young and prefer the Pallas, Iq and so one kind of neo in comparation with allbums that sound like Man made machine. Is an ok album to me nothing more, 3 stars, the arrangements are pretty decent like on Burn to something new or the title track, the rest are nothing to talk about.
Review by Warthur
3 stars On Man Made Machine Carptree play a spooky and very modern blend of gothic atmospheres and neo-prog instrumental performances and compositional approach, with just a mild pinch of Mercury Rev (particularly in the vocal delivery of Niclas Flinck). It's an intriguing blend, but I find that the album flags a bit in the mid-section, with a lot of the songs outstaying their welcome and not offering quite enough variety to keep me interested. I'm inclined to agree with b_olariu's assessment here that whilst none of the tracks or performances here are flat-out bad, there's nothing particularly exceptional about the album either. It is acceptable, nothing less and not even a little bit more.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars Carptree are a Swedish duo comprising Niclas Flinck on lead vocals and Carl Westholm supplying piano, synthesizer, vocoder, and Theremin. They are joined by various unnamed guest musicians to provide the sound of a full band, and this is a band that definitely sounds very full indeed. They go from beautifully delicate passages (such as on opener 'Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score' ' what a great proggy title) through almost lounge core on 'Sunshine Water' to areas that are far more dramatic and powerful. At times they remind me of Floyd but that is not really a fair comparison as Niclas's vocals are far more melodic and warm. Easily their best work to date 'Man Made Machine' is an essential discovery for all progheads.

Originally appeared in Feedback #85, Nov 2005

Latest members reviews

3 stars This is amazing. I wasn't expecting to like this, it took me by surprise. Yet when I put on the album "Man-made machine" I found this album to have a fragile beauty. The songs are extremely well crafted, the atmosphere surrounding the songs is eerie. The songs have such beautiful melodies, un ... (read more)

Report this review (#282415) | Posted by Brendan | Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 3.5 stars really...... but I will bump this one up to 4 stars.....since I like the band quite a bit ....and I think this is probably the strongest Carptree album.....If you like vocal driven melodic songs....with a somewhat progressve edge....think Peter Gabriel...or Blackfield.....this is an e ... (read more)

Report this review (#168749) | Posted by digdug | Saturday, April 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars TALENTED MAN MADE MUSIC I was caught since the very first time i listened to these two talented swedish guys (wasn´t too long ago), one with his voice and the other one with his instruments and arrangements. I can´t say that Carptree replaces the lack of studio recordings by Peter Gabriel sin ... (read more)

Report this review (#130746) | Posted by FranMuzak | Sunday, July 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just like I said in my review of their previous album "Superhero", CARPTREE are the closest version of MARILLION without Steve Rothery on guitar, although "Man-made machine" has much more presence of guitar than "Superhero". Besides FISH-like vocals, what is interesting in this album is the cl ... (read more)

Report this review (#74262) | Posted by BestFreak | Thursday, April 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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