I guess that the music of Mark Owen has always been something of a guilty pleasure of mine (friends often mock when I say that I like his solo material). The fact is, Mark Owen is a good singer with a unique voice, and always seems like a really nice guy in interviews. His debut album 'Green Man' was released in 1996 and although I regard it as the weakest of the three (hopefully he will release more), it's still a good record.
Some reviewers have written that they think that the added bonus tracks are better than some of the songs on the original release, I disagree, with the possible exception of 'Confused'. However, the title track, the single 'Clementine' (I'm not too keen on 'Child'), 'Backpocket And Me' and 'Naturally' are great, catchy, feel-good tracks. Other highlights include the more serious 'Ask Him To' and 'Is That What It's All About'. There are some songs of lesser quality and I much prefer the single version of 'I Am What I Am'.
In all, this was a strong debut album, but why only four stars? - if just listen to Mark's other two records you'll soon find out why this album is not his best work ('In Your Own Time' and 'How The Mighty Fall' are brilliant). The style of 'Green Man' is so different from the music that he did with Take That, he seems to have wanted to move far away from that style but it didn't matter, it suited Mark and deserved to receive a higher chart position.
Your Mark Owen CD collection isn't complete without 'Green Man' - so buy it!