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No-Man - Schoolyard Ghosts CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 208 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's hard to believe it's been 5 years since their last album "Together We're Stranger". Of course Steven Wilson is a very busy man isn't he. As usual you can expect lots of atmosphere and melancholic moods.The lyrics are significant on this album (Tim Bowness wrote them all), they are a big reason why I like this record so much. Even the albums title and the picture on the cover made me think back. I have some good memories and bad during the 12 or so years of school, i'm mostly just glad that part of my life is over, although I wish I was as alive now as I was back then.

"All Sweet Things" is really typical NO-MAN if there is such a thing. Piano and those reserved vocals from Tim early before acoustic guitar joins in. Check out the mellotron choirs before 2 1/2 minutes and later after 3 minutes. Such a sad song though about a person who takes pills to forget the past and also the present. "Beautiful Songs You Should Know" opens with strummed guitar,fretless bass from Colin Edwin, vocals and those guitar soundscapes. Cello 1 1/2 minutes in. Listen to Tim's passion as he sings "I want to give you all the beautiful dreams you can bear". A song about wanting the best for our children. "Pigeon Drummer" is the only let down for me. The bombast that is so loud it really ruins the song in my opinion. Even if it's mean't as a contrast I think they went to far. "Truenorth" is a top three track for me. The first part of it depicts someone who's life and future seem so futile and meaningless. Comparing their life to winter when nothing grows, you just try to survive and endure. The next stanza is so moving as Tim encourages this same person "Take a taxi through the snow, tell them you love them, don't let go". That line about taking the taxi through the snow is so meaningful when compared to the opening stanza. Even the music changes before the second stanza to a more spacey and calming soundscape. Flute from Travis joins in. Acoustic guitar joins in as it's building then Tim sings those powerful words I already mentioned about driving through the snow. Mellotron follows as he sings "You survived yourself, you survived inside the lost world". There is a hopeful and bright ending to this song.

"Wherever There Is Light" is pastoral with pedal steel guitar and acoustic guitar. More emotional lyrics on this track. Flute 1 1/2 minutes in, mellotron follows. Pure emotion after 2 1/2 minutes. A top three track. "Song Of The Surf" is the other top three song for me. I like the PT feel to open with those electric guitar sounds. They are contrasted with a spacey FLOYD vibe before 1 1/2 minutes. The contrast continues. Brilliant track. Lyrically this is painful for me to read. "Hopes drowning in the hurt". "Streaming" is another sad song about the summer days being almost over, of course there is more to these lyrics then the season. Beautiful song. "Mixtaped" is the final track. More fantstic lyrics. Of course it's melancholic. I like the guitar soundscapes before 3 1/2 minutes. It's spacey as vocals almost whisper 5 minutes in "You'd kill for that feeling once again (remember), afloat on the ocean, beyond the pain".

Despite some minor flaws there's way too much here that I like to give it less than 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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