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No-Man - Schoolyard Ghosts CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 208 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Nice songs are presented here, but they are largely dull, bland, and without any progressive tendencies whatsoever. Tim Bowness isn't as good a singer as Steven Wilson, and so that's a negative right off that bat. Most of the music is pleasant- good for a rainy day, I suppose- but this is not progressive rock in the least (one shouldn't be fooled by the personnel or the track times). It is decent music, but often flavorless, and sometimes very terrible. It hints in the direction Wilson would take Porcupine Tree with The Incident.

"All Sweet Things" Sweet piano and acoustic guitar offers a beautifully strong foundation for a breathy, unsure vocal. The choral Mellotron that eases out of the backdrop is a somberly handsome touch.

"Beautiful Songs You Should Know" Acoustic and tremolo electric guitars continue this gentle trek. Light hand percussion and an obtrusive fretless bass add simple textures. However, the title may as well be, "Beautiful Songs You Won't Remember."

"Pigeon Drummer" Following a minimalistic, eerie introduction, the album takes on a completely different costume, this one menacing and loud initially, but haunting throughout. That heaviness returns in full, however, and it's one of the nastiest things to pour forth from my speakers- a wall of distorted noise. Come to think of it, this all could have been on the dreadfulness that is Insurgentes.

"Truenorth" Light piano begins this lengthy, sleepy track that drags on longer than it reasonably should. One of the melodies and the use of the choral Mellotron are practically the same has that of the opening track. Electronic drums and some other instrumentation enter in toward the end, but by then, this piece has worn out its welcome and sent me to sleep.

"Wherever There Is Light" Gentle clean electric guitar and soft vocals make up this lovely song, with the steel guitar and flute adding so much to the piece in their own subtle ways. Along with the first song, this is one of the more powerful parts of the album.

"Song Of the Surf" Gritty yet soft electric guitar introduce more breathy vocals. In all honesty, both the guitar sound and chord progression sound borrowed from The Mars Volta's "Televators."

"Streaming" More sleep-inducing music, this has electronic percussion and the always breathy, overly-dramatic lead vocal.

"Mixtaped" More tremolo guitar, light static, and soft vocals make up this final track. The grainy electric guitar and pointless drumming is no good. It has a dark jazzy feel, but ultimately goes nowhere.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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