"Returning Jesus" is No-Man's most complete (& most satisfying) release to date. Delicious, understated melodies, more Bowness slices of life lyrics, ballads to melt your heart, all held together by real songs performed by real musicians. If you like your music unforced and natural, then this album is for you. Featuring guest appearances from Steve Jansen, Ben Christophers & Ian Carr. Stand-out tracks include "outside the machine". Resting on Steve Jansen's dry, jazzy drums, and Steven's effortless piano, it's such an intimate song, no longer dependent, yet full of intense yearning. The instrumental section seems to draw inspiration from the textures on Bowie's classic Outside album, before being drawn back into the song proper. "lighthouse" is the most complex performance on the album, progressive and not ashamed of it - shifting from light to dark, epic to feather light.
This album is a masterpiece. From the moment Ian Carr's trumpet sounds in Only Rain, I was swept into one of the most beautiful musical experiences I have ever known. Every song is crafted to perfection, different, exciting and creative. The sound is more mellow than No-Man's previous albums, exchanging trip hop for jazz influences. The double bass and 'human' drums provide a more organic 'band' feel to the CD. I think this is the best thing No-Man have done, and probably the best that Steve Wilson has produced in all of his projects. By best I mean the most wonderful to listen to - at least to my ears. Returning Jesus deserves a wide audience, if only so that more people could learn what great music exists out there.
I simply cannot understand why No-Man haven't been given the recognition they deserve as producers of some of the most consistently magnificent albums that money can buy. Between the superb musical landscapes of Steven Wilson and the haunting and heartrending lyrics and vocals of Tim Bowness, No-man manage to pull off the almost impossible trick of consistently producing albums that are both accessible and challenging with the added bonus that the more you listen to them the better they get.
Being a long time Amazon customer it is a pleasure to write a review on one of the best albums of music I ve heard. S. Wilson and T Bowness (including a large number of guests) create an album that is very qualitative. It is a very adult album where music, textures, atmospheres and the ever awesome voice of Bowness shine through deserving more stars than this review allows. I would recommend this album to those who look for something that will remain with them for a very long time. Thanks you for the space.