No-Man - Returning Jesus - 2001
No-Man is a not very well known band although it has a long trajectory and although one of its musicians is the King of hypnotic music Steven Wilson. In this band, Steven plays all instruments and Tim Bowness (his accomplice) provides the most enigmatic and calmest voice to the most reconfortant music you can imagine.
reviewIn this CD, this duo is accompanied by eight musicians who collaborates with a colorist assortment of instruments, Colin Edwin - bass, Steve Jansen - drums, Ian Carr - trumpet, Ben Chistophers - acoustic guitar, Ian Dixon - trumpet and flugelhorn, Rick Edwards - percussion, David Kosten - synthesizers, and Theo Travis - sax and flute. The music is subsisted on these instruments without being saturated in any moment.
This extraordinarily elegant and exquisite album has nine tracks where music flows with a parsimony and slowness which invites to relaxation, even I would say meditation. A melancholic beauty characterizes all the tracks, sometimes minimalists influenced by sophisticated pop, ambient, European jazz and, of course, some of the levelheaded and moving atmospheres of Porcupine Tree.
The main characteristic of this CD is the enigmatic magnetism of the music in seemingly simple songs, without frights or surprises, and that is the reason why arrangements here acquire a vital significance. This CD can´t be reviewed track by track because there are neither culminating moments nor out of tune fragments and the whole CD follows the musical style the musicians decided to investigate.
Each instrument contributes with its special vision to the nicety distilled in every track. Specially great are the wind instruments and percussion. We could say that this is a record gorgeously "decorated" because every note fits perfectly and Tim´s voice provides the final magnetism.
The listener with a bit of sensibility will notice in the first listening the tremendous good taste emanated by simple and deep things.
If you wish a smooth massage in your aural mechanism, "Returning Jesus" will provide it.