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5.0 out of 5 stars The second & their best to date album by Chester four-piece., 18 Sep 2000
This review is from: Six (Audio CD)
The idea was to drop all the extras that guested on the first LP, such as synthesizers and strings, in favour of more raw sound, complicated lyrics and more sophisticated tunes. The result: unbelievable. This is the record that surprises at every level possible. The songs change direction up to three times per track, some of the tracks clock at nine minutes, Stanley Kubrick, Marquis De Sade and Sky News all get mentioned, Draper's voice often gets lost in the noise of Chad's experimental and often unlistenable riffs and last, but not the least is the inclusion of an opera track featuring Tom Baker between the first and second part of the LP. Some critics said that Mansun, having had released a number 1 "AOTGL" have shot themselves in the foot with this follow-up, but I do not share their point of view. What we have here is very inspirational band who were not afraid to play against the music industry rules and delivered equally beautiful and difficult, yet not prog-rock record. It grows on me with every listen. And although certain mental caution should be taken while first discovering this album, it sounds way more positive then AOTGL. The stand-out tracks: Cancer, Special/Blown It (Delete As Appropriate), Six. The best moment: Cancer in its whole nine minutes entirety. If you survive this, you can survive anything.

The Middle of Nowhere
The Middle of Nowhere
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply personal electronic music at its finest., 18 Sep 2000
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
Hartnoll brothers has established themselves as dance music intellectuals a long time ago. This is their fifth and IMHO the greatest work. In a sense, it collects all their prime beats and glories form the past up to 1999 and presents them albeit in a nostalgic, but nonetheless very impressive manner. Orbital's compositional tradition once again revisited by a stunning opener "Way Out" before '70s electronica of "Spare Parts Express", track that samples the tune from John Craven's Newsround (! ), takes over and never fully lets go until the closing "Nothing Left" and "Style" (with surprising appearance of Suzi Quatro), which have almost a straightforward hands-in-the-air vibe in them. This record, frankly speaking, frightens me every time I put it on the stereo. The rhythm in the songs always builds up - slowly, but surely - and one can just shiver on the edge of the seat or, God forbid, a middle of dancefloor, - in expectation of what the peak might be. Such is a cry at 7:47 into the second track, a horror effect of a girl drowning in the emotionless music. Very creepy indeed. Rocking guitar of the fourth track is probably less terrifying, but it too helps in creating a very claustrophobic atmosphere throughout the LP and by the time you reach "Style" you're grateful for some lightness and at least a shadow of good feeling it contains. Recommended for listening pleasure only at the maximum value. The stand-out tracks: Spare Parts Express, I Don't Know You People, Style. The best moment: the above mentioned sonic nightmare courtesy of the second track.

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