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No-Man - Schoolyard Ghosts CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 208 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Spreading the depression, one note at a time.

This is what this album really is: the attempt by two talented guys to make us feel forced empathy for them, to make us stand in their shoes and get as depressed as they probably are. I don't know much about Bowness but I have heard pretty much every major release by Steven Wilson's main band (PORCUPINE TREE) and side projects (BLACKFIELD) to understand that his music will never be happy or optimistic.

But at least (and most importantly) his music has always been good, sometimes extremely good. Combining his moods and feelings with energy and passion, Wilson has given me enough good experiences to consider him one of my favorite prog artists. That's why I can't help feeling disappointed about this album.

The mood of the music is always sad, melancholic, nostalgic; most of the time I get the idea of longing, of a person trying to capture something that's gone forever. This wouldn't be bad just by itself, as there are countless examples of absolutely majestic sad music (I have always preferred works written in minor keys, as a matter of fact.) But on this release, what we get is a series of repetitive, ultra-simple, lazy pessimistic songs that only appeal to the weak side of us listeners, but without finesse. The album tries to get us by the brute force of its sadness, without any interesting music to back it up. The melodies, usually a strength of any Wilson-created opus, lack beauty and sad music without beauty is just food for the stomach, not for the soul. The complete absence of energy throughout the album brings it one step closer to boredom. The harmonic work is so run-of-the-mill it sounds mundane, trivial. The atmosphere and magic that Wilson always generates are just turned into aural representations of the pathetic.

I was so excited to hear this generally-praised album that the disappointment was stronger than usual for prog records. I know Steven Wilson is a sure bet for me in his other projects, but NO-MAN is NO-MORE for me.

The T | 2/5 |


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