Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
No-Man - Schoolyard Ghosts CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 208 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Beautiful Songs You Should Know?

After waiting 5 years for the boys from Britain to follow up their 2003 gem of music, Schoolyard Ghosts delivers what fans were waiting for on many fronts. First and foremost, new no-man material is here, and as expected, this marks another stylistic change for no-man, opting for darker, piano led ballads with a much more song based structure. The music here is, as mentioned, darker and less optimistic than many previous no-man releases, although one the fans (and newcomers, as I was when I grabbed this album) might just like.

The album is incredibly slow moving and has an an air of hopelesness and depression surrounding each composition. The combination is surprisingly different, combining the noise elements of their previous releases like Wild Opera, the piano/vocal intimacy of Returning Jesus, and the instrumental array of Together We're Stranger. As a unique mixture, this works quite well in many places, such as the killer track on the album Truenorth, a 12 minute movement featuring several mini-compositions of raw beauty, and the small poppy ballad Wherever There Is Light, although is less successful on some of the other tracks, namely Song Of The Surf and Beautiful Songs You Should Know. The real winner on this album, in this reviewer's humble opinion, is the array of other instrumentation used. The tribal drums, the string sections, the flute solos, the violin fills - they all make this album what it is, beautiful modern music.

The music can create a dense range of atmosphere - the pounding Pigeon Drummer immediately brings up a sense of fear, horror and uneasiness, Wherever There Is Light creates a lonely nostalgia and hopelessly in love feel, Mixtape can make the most positive of moods drop into a pessimistic pit. Regardless of the emotion, this album can almost definitely make you feel it.

As with the other no-man albums, this is best enjoyed alone, appropriately loud and with full focus. The 5.1 master is brilliant here, and as many other albums do, best works in surround.

4/5 for this one; incredibly excited for what no-man put out next, and if past behaviour is any indication of the future, it will continue to be filled with wonderful, melancholic works of dream-pop, trip hop and ambient.

progkidjoel | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this NO-MAN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives