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NO-MAN

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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No-Man biography
No-Man is an island. For nearly 15 years, the UK duo of vocalist Tim BOWNESS and guitarist & multi-instrumentalist Steven WILSON's has existed deep within its own shores, far from the contaminating tides of industry. NO-MAN have produced some of the most intriguing music of the last decade. Theirs is an uncompromising approach that connects the perimeters of rock and pop with a myriad of far-flung influences including neo-classical, jazz, dub and techno.

NO-MAN have produced some of the most intriguing music of the last decade. This band glanced to the past to realize its latest album "Speak". The CD is a retooled version of a cassette-only release of late '80s material. Re-mastered in the year 2002 for our exclusive pleasure, "Heaven Taste" is a collection of rare tracks, of new versions and of B-sides from the 1991 to 1995 period. "Returning Jesus" (2001) is simply splendid and includes romantic and sumptuous strings in the first track, something to be remembered!

See also:
- Blackfield
- I.E.M.
- Porcupine Tree

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Returning JesusReturning Jesus
Import
Hidden Art 2003
Audio CD$9.99
$13.14 (used)
Schoolyard GhostsSchoolyard Ghosts
KSCOPE 2014
Audio CD$9.94
$10.99 (used)
FlowermouthFlowermouth
Remastered
Kscope 2008
Audio CD$6.75
$6.49 (used)
Together We're StrangerTogether We're Stranger
Kscope 2014
Audio CD$9.50
$12.13 (used)
Heaven TasteHeaven Taste
Import
Hidden Art 2003
Audio CD$11.99
$10.99 (used)
Wild OperaWild Opera
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$8.16
$8.02 (used)
Loveblows and LovecriesLoveblows and Lovecries
Sony Music Entertain 1994
Audio CD$30.00
$24.97 (used)
SpeakSpeak
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$6.67
$4.44 (used)
Together We're Stranger-L [Vinyl]Together We're Stranger-L [Vinyl]
Import
Imports 2009
Vinyl$34.59
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NO-MAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NO-MAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.94 | 46 ratings
Loveblows & Lovecries - A Confession
1993
3.93 | 117 ratings
Flowermouth
1994
3.54 | 70 ratings
Wild Opera
1996
3.91 | 118 ratings
Returning Jesus
2001
4.13 | 208 ratings
Together We're Stranger
2003
3.61 | 160 ratings
Schoolyard Ghosts
2008

NO-MAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 15 ratings
Highlights From Mixtaped
2009
3.74 | 19 ratings
Love And Endings
2012

NO-MAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.86 | 32 ratings
Mixtaped
2009
3.80 | 5 ratings
Love And Ebdings
2012

NO-MAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.24 | 15 ratings
Lovesighs - An Entertainment
1992
2.67 | 24 ratings
Flowermix
1995
4.02 | 36 ratings
Heaven Taste
1995
3.06 | 35 ratings
Dry Cleaning Ray (CD mini-album )
1997
2.85 | 44 ratings
((Speak))
1999
3.92 | 21 ratings
All The Blue Changes
2006

NO-MAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
Colours (7" vinyl single)
1990
2.50 | 2 ratings
Colours (12" vinyl single )
1990
4.06 | 9 ratings
Days In The Trees
1991
3.25 | 4 ratings
Ocean Song
1992
3.88 | 5 ratings
Sweetheart Raw
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
Only Baby
1993
3.33 | 3 ratings
Painting Paradise
1993
3.00 | 6 ratings
Taking It Like A Man
1994
2.22 | 11 ratings
Housewives Hooked On Heroin
1996
3.00 | 2 ratings
Dry Cleaning Ray (7" vinyl single)
1997
2.92 | 10 ratings
Radio Sessions: 1992-96
1998
4.05 | 13 ratings
Carolina Skeletons
1998
3.21 | 10 ratings
Lost Songs Vol - 1
2001
3.76 | 12 ratings
All That You Are
2003
3.04 | 5 ratings
The Break-Up For Real
2007
3.24 | 15 ratings
Wherever There Is Light
2009

NO-MAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Flowermix by NO-MAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
2.67 | 24 ratings

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Flowermix
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the companion remix compilation for "Flowermouth" which I consider a masterpiece. This collection however is not consistently good throughout like that album. It is completely made up of remixes of tracks from Flowermouth, but, except for a few exceptions, they don't really add to or improve the original tracks. We can talk about these tracks a little bit and you can decide for yourself if it merits the effort to locate this compilation.

The collection starts off with "Angeldust" which is a great remix done by Steven Wilson of the track "Angel Gets Caught in the Beauty Trap". The remix features guitar and soundscapes from Robert Fripp and it stands out because of the effective use of Frippertronics and improves the original track. It also features sax from Mel Collins (also originally from King Crimson) spotlighted even better than the original track. However, the Flowermouth reissue contains this particular track as a bonus track, so you are just as well off to get the track on that album. The next 3 tracks are "Faith in You" (the first instance of "You Grow More Beautiful" remixed by Prophets of Bliss) which has a hip hop sound that moves into electronic techno territory that to me distracts from the beauty of the original track, "All I See" which is a repetitive remix of "Soft Shoulders" made for the dancefloor and not for casual listening, and "Natural Neck" which doesn't do anything for me. These 3 tracks are not even close to challenging except for the effort it takes to stay interested in the music and they add nothing to the originals.

"Heal the Madness" is a great remix that starts out very atmospheric and builds from a spacey, somewhat ambient sound to a nice beat that actually stays interesting because of the lack of extensive repetitiveness that is overwhelming in the previous 3 tracks. After that you get another version of "You Grow More Beautiful" re written by SW and featuring a funkier sound than the original. This one is probably the only "traditional" sounding song on the entire album and adds a different character to the song than the original without ruining it.

After that, you get 2 more repetitive remixes, "Sample" which is a techno sounding version of "Simple" without any kind of feeling that made the original great, including the fact that the vocal loop from Lisa Gerrard is either missing or pushed so far into the mix that it means nothing, and next is "Why the Noise?" which is a reworking of "Teardrop Fall" with the vocals remaining fairly intact, but it is rougher sounding than the original and more dramatic, but not really worth the effort of the remix.

Last of all is "Born Simple" which is a 12 minute foray into Frippertronic soundscapes and SW electronics and it sounds more like SW's other project Bass Communion than it sounds like a No- man remix. It is a great example of Fripp's atmospheric guitar special effects put to effective use, but it is also available as a bonus track on the original album's reissue, although it is about 3 minutes shorter than the "Flowermix" version.

In my opinion, even with the great tracks on here, it still isn't worth searching this one out. You are better off finding the amazing "Flowermouth" album where at least you get 2 of the 4 better tracks that are on this compilation. The other 2 great tracks are not enough to redeem the rest of the compilation from it's repetitiveness and inability to add much to the original album. Taking this compilation on it's own merits though gives it a good rating, but it really isn't essential especially with the bonus tracks now available on "Flowermouth"

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 Flowermouth by NO-MAN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.93 | 117 ratings

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Flowermouth
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Dry Cleaning Ray (CD mini-album ) by NO-MAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.06 | 35 ratings

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Dry Cleaning Ray (CD mini-album )
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is quite a diverse collection of alternate mixes and outtakes from the "Wild Opera" album sessions. This results in a good variety of songs for this E.P. which makes it worthwhile especially if you like the style of music that was on the album, so this EP works as a great companion to the album.

It starts out with a remix and extension of "Dry Cleaning Ray" which allows for a little more guitar from Steven Wilson. "Sweetside Silver Night" is an unreleased outtake that is just as good as anything left on the album. "Jack the Sax" is an alternate version of the track from the album and it utilizes the same guitar progression as "Wake as Gun" by Porcupine Tree from their E.P. "Insignificance". "Diet Mothers" is a more experimental sound but gives a new dimension to Tim's vocals and also features some nice violin which has been missing since the departure of Ben Coleman who was the regular violinist previously. "Urban Disco" is short experimental sounding instrumental which is a remix of a previous song from No-Man called "Housewives on Heroin". The remix is by Muslimgauze who collaborated with Steven Wilson before working as Bass Communion which is SW's experimental electronic project. Very strange sounding on this E.P. and almost out of place, but it's short. Next is "Punished for Being Born" which is another alternative take this time on another Porcupine Tree song; "The Colour of Air" from "The Sky Moves Sideways". Nice and airy instrumental, but short. The next two are some interesting covers and "Sicknote" is a song that would have fit nicely on the album with a run time of over 8 minutes.

A great collection with nothing very repetitive of the album. Worth checking out this E.P. by itself of you can search for the re-issue of "Wild Opera" which features a copy of this as a bonus disc. Quite a variety like I said before and even works great as a stand alone or together with the album. The E,P. itself runs over 40 minutes which is the length of many albums anyway. But it's the variety that saves this one and merits it's 4 star rating.

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 Days In The Trees by NO-MAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1991
4.06 | 9 ratings

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Days In The Trees
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a single of the song "Days in the Trees", but they are all remixes of the beautiful minimalistic song. There are 4 tracks here, all named after famous composers, but it is the same song, but with plenty of variation to keep things very interesting. I suppose the goal here was to do remixes that were inspired by the composers they are named after. It's a great concept. And it works pretty well. Mahler's style is apparent in the last few minutes of the track during the instrumental part and it is very nice. The percussion track is looped and sort of trip-hop sounding but the rest of the instruments are nicely complex. Tim Bowness' voice is nice and soft as usual and glides and soars over the top of Steven Wilson's programmed beats. The second track is Ives, and it is definitely styled after the composer it is names for. All instrumental and instantly apparent that the violin is playing it's hook at the beginning in Ives style. No percussion here, but there is also a nice piano playing along with the violin and it sounds very pre-contemporary classical like it is supposed to sound. Bartok is also instrumental, but it has a percussion loop that is different from the Mahler version. Guitar joins in later with some strong bass. It is actually quite straightforward totally unlike Bartok would be. Really the only thing reminiscent of Bartok is the synth in the background that keep coming in that sounds like the synth in the first part of Porcupine Tree's "The Sky Moves Sideways". Not much like Bartok, but still nice. Reich is the last version and the least like the original. Tim's vocals are replaced by a soft sounding female spoken word voice. In fact, the spoken word is a sound bite from the TV show "Twin Peaks". Underneath the voice is a keyboard playing an arpeggio chord with some other ambient music. Somewhat similar to Reich's music in that it is very relaxing and hypnotic.

On the Japanese version of this single, there are two more tracks, but they are placed as tracks 2 and 3. Track 2 is Bach, which is a short simple instrumental, so I guess it's based on Bach's simpler works like the short works in "The Well-Tempered Clavier". The 3rd track is named after Arthur Askey, whose work I am not familiar with. The track itself is quite similar to the Mahler track with a different percussive loop and Tim's vocals. I don't know how to compare it to the composer's style though.

A very nice single and one of the best concepts I have ever heard of for a single. The tracks are unique enough to stay interesting as you play through it. This is one of the best singles I've heard, but then No-Man has produced some great singles and albums. This is definitely 4 star material and remains progressive because of the concept and the stylized versions of the songs to mirror the composers styles. 4 stars.

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 Carolina Skeletons by NO-MAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1998
4.05 | 13 ratings

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Carolina Skeletons
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Here is a short sample of the beauty created by Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson. No-Man have a rather large discography, most of which are special issues, EPs and so on, even more than what is noted on this site. This EP contains 20 short minutes of beauty, but can be a great entry point for those wanting to explore the music that this team of geniuses have created. Pensive piano and guitar led by Tim's excellent vocals, this is No-Man at their best. Two tracks are available elsewhere and two tracks are original to this EP. The sound here is unique, not a copy of the music from Porcupine Tree or any of the myriad of bands that Tim has performed with. If anything, it is probably closest to the most pensive and quieter songs of Pink Floyd, if you want a comparison, but that only gives you an idea, the sound is unique to No-Man. The music has very little percussion except for "Close Your Eyes" which has a repetitive hand drum of some kind and a distorted guitar solo which stands out but doesn't distract and wandering brass towards the end of the song. This is one EP that is essential to understand the sound of No-man but it is also essential to show just how beautiful and emotional progressive rock can be. 5 stars. I can't give it any less.

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 Schoolyard Ghosts by NO-MAN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.61 | 160 ratings

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Schoolyard Ghosts
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars What can I say about No Man's last album 'Schoolyard Ghosts'? I prefer to indicate a description of the words evoked in the album: melancholia, sadness, aggresivity (Pigeon Drummer), jazz, introspective, cloudy days, beautiful flute arrangements, excellent guitar riffs, happiness, love, thoughtful moments, wonderful orchestration, cello, slight drums, hard drums (Pat Mastelotto), soft voice (Tim Bowness), lovely choirs, great compositions, and last but not least, Steven Wilson. All the songs create a special feeling that is enjoyable during almost one hour of music. My favorite tracks are definitely: Truenorth (an epic divided in three lovely parts); Wherever there Is Light; All Sweet Things; Beautiful Songs You Should Know; Pigeon Drummer. And the one I don't listen much is 'Mixtaped' not because it is a bad song, but I think it's a little bit longer than necessary, but it is a really good song.

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 Returning Jesus by NO-MAN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.91 | 118 ratings

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Returning Jesus
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars Flowermouth, Together We're Stranger, Schoolyard Ghosts and Returning Jesus are my favorite albums of NO MAN, all of them for me, five stars, because of the style of music represented in here, more than psychedelic or space prog, it goes farther, they have more the tendency of ambient prog rock with some jazzy lounge sparks that make the albums more interesting, relaxing, beautiful, enjoyable. Tim Bowness has a lot of influence by David Sylvian, but I think Tim has a softer melodic voice, appropriate for this type of songs and also for a more lounge music. Steve Wilson, as usual, incredible at the level of composition and playing, and the background music is always amazing, every single sound or instrument you hear in these albums has a reason to exist. My favorite tracks here, and tracks that really make me shed tears: Returning Jesus, Only Rain, No Defence, Carolina Skeletons, All That You Are; the rest of the songs are simply beautiful, I love No Man.

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 Together We're Stranger by NO-MAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.13 | 208 ratings

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Together We're Stranger
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars No-Man are again a duo, with just a few guests, and there cannot be many bands that have been going fifteen years let alone recording while one of the members is also in a slightly more well-known outfit. Tim Bowness provides the vocals, while Steve Wilson provides all of the instruments and if anyone thinks that this might just sound anything like Porcupine Tree are very much mistaken. This is an album that sees the band really push Tim's vocals to the front, while the music swirls, moves and shifts behind. It is almost New Age at times but there is always a slight hint of menace that drives away the saccharine.

It becomes an album that is timeless, ageless, modern yet harkening back to the Seventies. There are Floydian touches but no-one could ever think that they are copyists. There can be just a gentle piano chord, followed by a line of sung melody. There are songs that are heart- achingly beautiful that if edited might even stand a chance in the charts. It is almost as if their previous albums have been leading up to this, as if Steven has managed to exorcise heavier demons with Porcupine Tree and here has come home to provide a stark view of what can be done. If these guys were designers then they would be minimalist, of that there is no doubt. This is not an album to jump into, you must be prepared to sit back and let it all wash over you (oh and don't turn up the volume at the end of "Things I Want To Tell You" like I did, otherwise you will jump out of your skin when the next song starts). Superb.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

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 Schoolyard Ghosts by NO-MAN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.61 | 160 ratings

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Schoolyard Ghosts
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars This is probably the lowest-keyed No-Man album; and considering these guys that is saying too much. Everyone that went to school; any school; has its own memories; of fears and hopes; and living them among equally fearful and hopeful peers. A lot of "School Memories" snap-shots have been well documented. From Alice Cooper, the "Floyd", Kinks, Marillion and lots and lots of people. So No-Man is no exception. In my opinion this " Schoolyard Ghosts" project; is more inclined towards Tim Bowness aesthetics than Steven Wilsons´s. Of course Steven ripps-off his electric guitar guts; but "it" in a "whole" is darker, intimate (as usual), and yes! "Macabre"; which for Mr. Bowness is like a "kid in a candystore" project. This "macabre" element covers the whole environment of this work. Macabre also; as "School Memories"; we all hold on to;....yet we dont know why we hold them so close. As of course reffered in this "Ghosts" project. Ghosts as in plural as they still appear in the most unexpected and private inner reflections and actions. As if opened-up bruises; that hurt when we remember them. And still; we hold them dearly as if "precious". Someone like Tim can turn this "voyage" in time; into an expandable and solitary experience; as he can only do. Intelligent, provocative lyrics in a vast and empty "Gothic" musical background. That here and there shines some dark gray "sarcastic" lights of hope;.. but not faith. ****4 "Macabre; a rarely visited by NO-MAN land; in a true to life musical conceptual experience" Stars PD: DARK very DARK

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 Flowermouth by NO-MAN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.93 | 117 ratings

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Flowermouth
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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-Man´s 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 Gerrard´s 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.

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