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No-Man - Loveblows & Lovecries - A Confession CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.04 | 80 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is gorgeous pop music.

Building on a solid dance beat, NO-MAN construct ten luscious tracks that will appeal - well, probably not to many on this forum, to be honest. I'm a huge techno fan, and it is clear that STEVEN WILSON spent hours listening to the various strands of that diverse genre, from trance through ambient to trip-hop: it all appears in his work. Anyone wanting to understand this man's influences must go further than PINK FLOYD.

'Loveblow' is an intimate chamber orchestra of an entrance to this record, prefacing the sterling upbeat pop of 'Only Baby', a likeable track with a splendid pulsing bass line. 'Housekeeping' - the title reflecting NO-MAN's obsession with domestic and private human spaces - is a little downtempo. It is followed by the five-star gem of this album, the glorious 'Sweetheart Raw.' If you have any interest in pop music, have a listen to this track. This six minute wonderland has a wonderful bass line (courtesy of MICK KARN's fretless bass - in fact JAPAN are virtually all involved in this track) and BOWNESS gives a great minimalist vocal performance a la NEIL TENNANT. The song is surpassed only by the nine minute version on the 'Sweetheart Raw' single, and concludes with the first trademark WILSON guitar solo on a NO-MAN album. The rest of the songs continue in this fashion, each one polished and holding the listener's interest. COLEMAN colours most of the tracks most effectively with his violin. 'Tulip' and 'Painting Paradise' are particularly effective, the latter, like 'Sweetheart Raw', favoured with excellent guitar work, and the best of the rest after 'Sweetheart'. And, like me, you'll think for a moment at the beginning of 'Tulip' that you've suddenly switched to a certain YES album ...

The signs are all there, albeit in the context of a pop album. Within a year NO-MAN had made great progress - though not as much as their label wanted. Four stars in the context of techno-pop, but only one star for the narrow proghead. If you are one of the latter, save your money for 'Flowermouth' or 'Together We're Stranger'.

russellk | 4/5 |


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