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21 Reviews
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius !
I hadn't even had the album for a week, but it almost instantly nestled itself into the position of being one of my all time favourite albums. I was familiar with the song Wide Open Space, and on its strength decided to buy the album. And not a moment too soon! Upon listening to the rest of the album I promptly forget about Wide Open Space and became absorbed in the other...
Published on 10 April 2005 by Justine K

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really my thing
To commemorate the release of their single Taxloss, Mansun came up with a publicity stunt where commuters at London's Liverpool Street station were showered with £25,000 to herald the record's release. A typically arty and subversive gesture by this singular band though I always thought that Victoria or Waterloo station would have provided a more apt location...
Published on 19 Oct 2007 by Greg Farefield-Rose


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius !, 10 April 2005
I hadn't even had the album for a week, but it almost instantly nestled itself into the position of being one of my all time favourite albums. I was familiar with the song Wide Open Space, and on its strength decided to buy the album. And not a moment too soon! Upon listening to the rest of the album I promptly forget about Wide Open Space and became absorbed in the other intriguing songs. Of course it's still brilliant, but with The Chad Who Loved Me as the opening track with its sumptuous strings and powerful chorus, it is quite understandable to do so.

And Stripper Vicar, has indeed, got to be one of the best crafted, 'soundtrack to the 90's' pop/rock song. It is dark, yet so bizarre and humorous. It's totally fascinating and enthralling; in fact, the whole album is. I entirely agree that there isn't a weak track present.

Some more of the album's highlights are the songs Taxloss, She Makes My Nose Bleed and Egg shaped Fred. They're all such strong songs with tunes/lyrics that are just impossible to dislodge ("We think you are stupid, we give you money because our assets are fluid"). The only difference is that, unlike many other catchy rock/pop songs, you actually WANT them to be stuck in your mind. Some of the tracks vaguely remind me of Blur, but far, far, better. Unlike Blur, they are deeper, more profound and generally more intelligent.

Combine catchy pop song tunes and choruses to strong guitar chords, then add a twist of bizarre wit, humour and irony, and you are getting close to having an idea of what this amazing album is like.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This, put simply, is one of my favourite albums of all time. The theme running throughout it is very clever, the songs have a kind of black comedy and Paul Draper's voice is brilliant.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of my favourite albums, 27 Mar 2007
By 
E. Swainston "missieclair" (W-s-M, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This album came out in 1997, this was Mansun's first album & includes the hit singles Wide Open Space & Stripper Vicar.

I bought this on cassette when it first came out to listen to on my walkman on the way to college & have almost worn the tape out, I then had this album on mini disk format, but now have this on CD due to the CD player in the car. This album hasn't aged at all, it still has the same overall feel & would fit in well with some of the songs that are around today.

My favorite track is still, Disgusting, it along with all the other tracks, they still make me want to sing along with them & still make me think that this is one of the best albums that I have ever owned.

I can't stress this enough, this album hasn't aged & still sounds good. In my opinion is the best of Mansun's albums, I've had them all, & they have all departed my collection in one way of another but Attic of The Grey Lantern is still there & I'm very sad but I have them in 3 formats, none of which I will part with.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 90s Classic, 7 Oct 2004
By A Customer
Amazing that this magnificent debut album should be so underrated as to be undiscovered country for so many people. It's a classic for so many reasons - as has been said, there isn't a weak track on the album. Most people remember Wide Open Space as a 90s anthem, as well as the other singles Taxloss and She Makes My Nose Bleed, but all the songs share the same quality, wit and bizarre sense of humour. Mansun's achievement is in making an album so full of catchy tunes and singalong choruses which is at the same time so eccentric, dark, hypnotic and surreal. Paul Draper has a superb voice, one moment singing angelically like a choirboy and the next belting out the loud and electrifying anthems elsewhere. The album is bursting with ideas and innovation, it flows through your head like a dream and you're guaranteed to find yourself singing different bits of it to yourself when you least expect to!
Attack of the Grey Lantern loosely tells the story of 'Mavis' and her father, a vicar who combines his respectable day-job with a kinky alter-ego as a stripper and drag queen, and who dies presumably as a result of his activities. The story carries it's own fascination from one fantastic song to the next - Stripper Vicar is quite simply one of the greatest songs of the 90s and tells the tale with hilarious lyrics ("I think he got suspended in his stockings and suspenders, and he's making wine from water while he dresses like his daughter, and we know that he's a rip off cos we've seen him with his kit off!") while elsewhere we hear poignant and beautiful songs such as Dark Mavis with it's soaring string section and sombre description of the funeral arrangements. The anthemic outro is done with great passion and feeling, before rejoining the majestic Bond-style piece of orchestral classical music that opened the first song. As it finishes you sit in awe, contemplating the brilliance of the album and the strange story it told...until the excellent, poppy hidden track kicks in and Draper reveals that "the lyrics aren't supposed to mean that much, they're just a vehicle for a lovely voice!" Brilliant.
If you've missed out on this unique gem of an album, put it right straightaway!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good album that tails off a little toward the end, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: Attack Of The Grey Lantern (MP3 Download)
It starts off very strongly and brings back a lot of memories from the 90's. Many good tracks on here and worth a listen, though I sort of feel the drive went out of the album before it was finished. It's a sound that stood out from the predominant genres of the period, and that stands up well today without sounding dated. A difficult thing to do, sometimes. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Original, 22 Feb 2014
An original and quite superb album. Dark themes aboud along with 'The League of Gentlemen' grand guignol tyype tongue in cheek humor. I think it's like prog rock without the grandiose arrangements.If you like good music and songs of tranvestite clergymen, buy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic, 7 Jan 2014
I was a dyed-in-the-wool metal fan at the time when I moved in with my somewhat more indie-centric housmates and this album was rarely off the ridiculously sub-woofed hi-fi. Much of what they listened to didn't interest me but I found myself drawn to this album. Was it Wide Open Space the single I'd heard on the radio at the time? Was it the epic, concept album-like quality of all the tracks blended into one? Ws it the unstoppable chorus of Taxloss? Was it the multi-layered and ingenious production? Was it the cheeky dark humour?

In truth, it was all those things which led me to put this one on the stereo when everyone else was out. Well, all things come to an end and I moved out to pastures new, leaving this album behind. A couple of years later however, I picked it up for myself, because I realised that it really does have a special place in my musical heart. Not only does it remind me of that time, but it also reminds me of what a talented and criminally underated band Mansun were and how, long after the tide of fly-by-night band of the moment Britpop dross has ebbed, this album remains. There's much merit in the band's other work too, but they were never able to top this - one of the all-time classic debut albums ever released.

To put it in perspective, this sits alongside such albums as Physical Graffiti, Number of the Beast, The Pleasure Principle, ... And Justice For All, Rust in Peace, Clutching at Straws, 2112, the Inalienable Dreamless and The Lamb Lies down on Broadway in my list of all-time faves.

An essential purchase for any fan of real music, no matter what your preferred genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Peak of Brit Pop, 24 July 2012
I bought this on first release back in '97, when I was studying for my A-levels. It was brilliant then and remains brilliant a somewhat depressing 15 years later. Of the large batch of "brit-pop" albums I bought during that era this is the one I continue to come back to time and time again. While everyone else at the time trying to sound like The Beatles this was significantly different. Each song drifting into the next to give the feel of single piece comprised of different movements. The lyrics dark and subversive.

Sadly, it was such a masterpiece there was no way they could follow it up. Their second album, Six, was a valiant attempt, but ultimately just felt messy and disjointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars British indie with a twist, 14 Mar 2012
By 
MideastMC (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This is one of those pre-OK Computer albums that I've always thought of as inseparable from its time, but that's not to say it's exactly typical. It draws heavily upon Suede and late 80s new-wave, for example, but Mansun's glam and indie personae are only ever approximations which morph just as soon as you think you've spotted something you recognise. Rich orchestral strings give way to echoey guitars and drum loops, vocals are at times gentle and soaring, at others abrasive, with wry lyrics about odd characters, and there are some pleasingly strange samples and song transitions. Consequently, in the context of the album, their version of a radio-friendly Britpop blast, Egg Shaped Fred, emerges as an ironic, almost weary commentary on the real thing. There are no perfect, timeless songs on the album, but this is an unusual, wide-ranging but coherent, and sometimes wonderful record.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (1997):, 23 Dec 2010
By 
Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Mansun - Attack Of The Grey Lantern (Parlophone)
With two hit singles under their belts, the slightly annoying "Stripper Vicar" and the truly wonderful "Wide Open Space", Mansun have made a mighty ambitious debut album. From the John Barry(ish) orchestrated intro into the first track, the wonderful "The Chad Who Loved Me", it's obvious that they don't intend to take any prisoners.

The songs are long; nearly half are over five minutes, bit that's okay because they never cease to be entertaining. We're not talking about a bunch of snot-nosed punks here, overawed in the studio for the first time; this band demands respect and gets it. Buy this album immediately and in a year's time you'll be talking about in the same way Radiohead's "The Bends" is being talked about now. It's that good. 9/10.
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