Review Summary: Early masterpiece of artpop and ambient music.
When two extremely talented musicians met in late 80s, world was full of pop and catchy rock music. Although, You can always find more artistic ways of expression in every decade, 80s seemed to be the most about creating radio friendly songs. A lot of band recorded great albums in that form, but second half of 80s showed that some of artists decided to make something new with them. This is when David Sylvian, Dead Can Dance, Talk Talk etc. recorded one of their best albums.
Young multiinstrumentalist and producer Steven Wilson and singer Tim Bowness who formed no-man were about to record something that they felt would be totally different than any expectations. Joined by violin player Ben Coleman, they wrote and recorded absolutely charming and beautifull album ((speak)) (avaiable only on amateur issued cassetes)which was actually ignored by musical press audience. However, no-man finally achieved a bit of recognition, when they recorded an EP ''Lovesighs-An Entertainment'' and their first genuine album ''Loveblows & Lovecries- a Confession'' which were triphop/disco/artpop oriented music. With time when Stevens side project (which was Porcupine Tree of course) became more and more famous, no-man actually turned be a side project of his. Anyway guys didn't split and continued to record studio albums. After triphop/artpop period no-man decided to come back to their roots which was ambient, jazz and post-rock music. But before they recorded their propably most known works from 00's they reminded themselves that the real spirit of no-man was their first work ((speak)). They re-recorded all vocal parts, cleaned and remastered it, added some more new songs (great covers of Nick Drake, and Donovan) and reissued is as a cd.
The album itself is a great piece of short ambient songs, beautifully arranged by Steven and Sang by Tim. It starts with a great intro title track, comes through astonishind ''Pink Moon'' interpretation to another song called ''Iris Murdoch Cut me down'' who has a feel of anxiety of a dark night. Then comes fantastic song ''Curtain Dream'' with great lyrics and ''French Tree Terror Suspect'' instrumental song with beautiful violon by Ben Coleman. Second half of album gives even better songs. ''Heaven Break'' sounds like one of Tangerine Dream's best moments mixed with great vocals. ''River Song'' is a great cover of donovan's song, and chanting ''Riverrun'' sung in duet by Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness is one of the best pieces of music i have ever heard. Next we have ''Ballet Beast'' minimalistic song that leads to one of the highlights of the album. ''Night Sky, Sweet Earth'' is the beuty and epic itself. At the end we get two great songs ''Life with Picasso'' and ''Death and Dogson's Dreamchild''.
The album gives a great atmosphere of summer night. Tim's lyrics that relate to nature strenghts and beauty
are among his best. Steven's arrangments are full of beautiful soundscapes, and reverbed guitar sounds.
Whole album sounds like uninhibited art, and in my opinion is the best no-man recording and one of the best things that Tim or Steven have ever recorded. I strongly recommend it to fans of David Sylvian, Brian Eno or Talk Talk, and to all people who want to associate with real art.