No-man Ė together weíre stranger
(Snapper Music) march 2003
Genre: Ambient sounscapes
Tim Bowness - vocals, words
Steven Wilson - instruments
Michael Bearpark - guitar solo (1)
Stephen Bennett - noise (1), organ and cymbal (6)
Ben Castle - clarinet, bass clarinet, flute
Peter Chilvers - space-bass (1,2), bass (6)
Roger Eno - harmonium (5)
David Picking - trumpet (1,2), electronics (1,2,3,4), percussion (2,5)
Of to the song by song review:
1) Together Weíre Stranger. (8:32)
This track starts of with some weird machine sounds.
After 20 seconds a very ambient sound comes in, I always imagine myself swimming in the ocean, surrounded by whales or dolphins or something.
Once the music gets started, organ is the main instrument, there a some wail like sounds too, very relaxing.
The vocals are very fragile, but very nice.
At 4:38 some weird guitar tone takes the overhand, still this track sounds like floating round in the ocean, this song sets the tone for the album pretty much.
2) All the blue changes (7:49)
Starts of with some brass instrument, but it has a very weird tone.
There is some percussion going on, and some piano.
There is a Darth Vader like sound on the background, but itís not annoying actually.
As the song continues, the sound doesnít really change, but the soundscape just expends, till the track sounds Ďfullí.
Long absence of vocals, but when they come in, itís very nice.
At 4:48 there is a harmonized vocal part.
Just as in the beginning the soundscape expended, it now decreases, with some weird beeping tones the song ends...
3) The City In A Hundred Ways (2:23)
Starts of with, Clarinet or Oboe or something.
This carries on the entire song, no vocals, just a gateway to the next track.
4) Things I Want To Tell You (9:04)
Starts of with simple acoustic guitar. The lyrics to this are very nice.
ĎRoll me over on my right side, My left side hurts me so.í
The guitar keeps this going, and there is a tone in the background the same the entire time, just there to make sure the lone guitar doesnít drown in a sea of sound emptiness.
Weird sounds can be heard throughout the whole song, but you donít even notice it, unless you pay attention to it.
From about 6:30 till the end of the song there is practically no music.
5) Photographs In Black And White (10:03)
This one is for the guitar too, another simple acoustic guitar is what drives this song.
Very relaxing vocals.
There is some instrument here once more, delivering a sort of solo, horn or some sort of sax, or oboe, I donít really know. I donít really know my way around woodwind and brass instruments.
The filling instrument on this song is organ, it there most of the time, supporting the guitar.
5:11 the sound of the song changes, it sounds a bit Porcupine Tree like actually, very nice.
But after a while it gets very experimental, very nice,
The song slows down a bit near the end.
6) Back When You were Beautiful. (5:07)
Wow, you shouldnít listen this song with headphones on.
Starts of with electric piano, and the tone shifts from right to left, and back, and again, creating a very dizzy making sound.
But after a few seconds guitar comes in, and some other sounds on the background make this song.
The lyrics and vocals are just great.
This song uses some Vocal harmonies, the trademark of mister Wilson.
At 2:42 a string/choir like pad creates even more atmosphere in this song.
The lat minute or so, the guitar is traded for a banjo, giving a very nice contrast.
With organ this song fades out.
7) The Break-Up For Real. (4:11)
This song is awesome, starts of with an electric guitar tone, accompanied by an acoustic guitar playing some chords.
At a certain point the electric guitar goes away, and the acoustic drives the song.
Some woodwinds or something make this song to a very nice piece of relax music.
2:13 some experimental part, this sounds ace :thumb:
The guitar tone now is very Porcupine Tree like, I love it.
The song ends with some weird echoing piano.
What can I say about this record?
This is by no means a must have for a Porcupine Tree fan.
I think most PT fans would be disappointed to hear this, cause it sounds a bit empty compared to PT.
But the whole idea behind the album is, to keep the music a bit empty, so that the relax factor remains very high.
The sound isnít even empty is stands full of weird sounds and delicate details.
I think this is more a must for people interested in some stripped down ambient music, with brains.
This album takes a couple of listens before you can enjoy it, but itís worth it.
This is a great album, but not meant for a big audience, check it out if you feel like some laid-back music :thumb:
Overall feel of the album: