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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Manfred Mann '06: 2006 CD (album) cover

MANFRED MANN '06: 2006

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

 

Eclectic Prog

2.61 | 52 ratings

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Kingsnake
4 stars This album is insanely good. This is a very coherent and musically diverse album, although it's somewhat of a Manfred Mann-solo album.

This is intelligent progressive pop with influences from r&b/soul, hardrock, worldfusion, jazzfusion. This could have been an album by Peter Gabriel or David Bowie (I am not kidding, the standard is that high), except with different vocalists. I love the different approach of vocals (spoken word, opera, rock, rap). Noel McAlla must be one of favorite vocalists.

The production is crystal clear and very balanced. There's room for every different instrument. You can't even tell most songs feature different musicians. That well balanced the production is.

There's not a boring moment on the album. I like the dynamics, a lot of songs build and build and build into a crescendo (like the gorgeous History of Sexual Jealousy). Other stand-out songs are the exciting and fun The Frog or the hardrocking Two Friends with it's funky breakdowns. Very nicely crafted. The opener is very heavy and great aswell, it takes guts for a prog-artist to be really progressive and add rapvocals. I think it's funny to read how many reviewers don't like it. Get over it, is what I think.

Manfred Mann was always praised for not showboating musicianship and focus on good songs instead. Sometimes it didn't work out so well, because the songwriting is very important in that approach. But on this album every song is a direct hit.

Praise to Manfred Mann for releasing this album. Only let-down (as another reviewer pointed out) are the (many) fade-outs at the end of the songs. The songs don't have to be 10 minutes long , it can be a drag when songs are that long most of the time. But after a while fade-outs tend to be annoying, but that's the only negative point to this album.

Highly recommended to fans of intelligent progressive pop like Sting, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel and maybe Tears for Fears.

Kingsnake | 4/5 |

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