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Mansun - Six CD (album) cover

SIX

Mansun

 

Crossover Prog

4.07 | 37 ratings

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JonnyM79
5 stars How good is this album? Well, let me put it this way. I am a huge fan of and own all or most of the discographies of: Genesis, Gentle Giant, Kong Crimson, Transatlantic, Pink Floyd and a host of other progressive groups. Part one of Mansun's Six (that's the first 8 tracks - although they're actually blended to one continuous peice) is the finest peice of music in my collection, above all of these. How can this be?

Mansun had hit number one with their previous album, and dented the top 10 of the singles charts - this is not the place you typically find a prog band pushing the boundaries. How did they follow this up? With (as their frontman Paul Draper put it) "Around 30 song fragments of about 30 seconds linked together featuring not one chorus" (this isn't quite true actually). Listening to the album this keeps things moving at a frenetic pace - ideas keep tumbling out faster than you can comprehend, while the playing veers from the energy of their live punk roots to the minimalism of a solo piano. The centrepeice of the album is the track Cancer, rounding off part one with a full-blown and suitably bombastic prog guitar solo. The second half is a showcase for Mansun's lyrical ability with barbed attacks on TV culture (Television) and the shallowness of cheap imitation (Legacy) worked around obscure references including the Marquis de Sade and Winnie The Pooh.

Radiohead have publicly acknowledged the ionfluence of this album, while The Mars Volta and Muse have also given it a musical nod. Fans of any of these bands will be richly rewarded, while symphonic fans might be surprised how much there is to enjoy. Five stars only because Six (obviously the appropriate score) is not available!

JonnyM79 | 5/5 |

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