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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 4 May 2006
It's 2AM, im in the middle of writing a physics report that needs to be finished for tommorow, and nothing could fit more perfectly to chill me out and keep me going than this album right now. So subtle, yet so powerful. All the tracks just merge together to make a constant flow of beautifulness. I don't own any other no-man albums but I have a feeling that will change very soon. Mark my words...
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on 27 April 2007
This album perhaps contains one of the most atmospheric pieces of music I have ever heard. 'All the Blue Changes' is stunning in its simplicity and if you play this loud with the lights off, i can guarantee the hairs on your neck will stand up. It's a brilliant piece of musicianship. The collaboration between Wilson (how prolific is this guy?) and Bowness works well and while the album is fairly ambient, the instrumentation and melodies work well. I have a feeling people will come to appreciate No-Man's work more, now that Porcupine Tree are picking up in popularity and when you come to this album, you'll find it a delight to listen to.
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on 14 April 2003
The latest album from one of the most under-rated and over-looked bands of the past 15 years. If you are looking for an instant fix of frothy pop, don't come here. But if you want music that hits you in your heart as well as your head, you must buy this album. Almost devoid of percussion, built on layers of sharp acoustic guitars, snatches of organ and washes of strings - topped by Tim Bowness' heart-felt but restrained vocals, "Together We're Stranger" is a work of great beauty.
Unlike no-man's earlier albums, "Together We're Stranger" has a real timeless feel and contains one of their finest songs in the 10 minutes plus "Photographs In Black & White".
Fans of Steven Wilsons other outfit, Porcupine Tree, will also appreciate this album, but don't expect it to sound anything like "In Absentia". This is a rock free zone. Anyone moved by latter period Talk Talk, early Sylvian, Kate Bush or Nick Drake will find sustenance in this album. As will anyone who's had their heart broken, looked in the mirror and seen what the ravages of time can do, or woken up alone and lonely.
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on 20 February 2006
This is a lovely album. Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree) collaborates with Tim Bowness and the result is gorgeous. Gentle, ethereal songs that drift along - it's just a pleasure to listen to them. Chill out to this - candles, a glass of wine, a close friend - magical...
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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2003
This album combines serene instrumentation with excellent vocals in a genuinely adult album of gently wrought songs. It is a mood album, possibly for drifting afternoons or late nights, a consistent feeling of soft expectation carries through. The instrumentation combines electronic soundwashes, distant rumbles and goregous melodies. There are elements of Brian Eno, Harold Budd, David Sylvian, Holgar Czukay and Robert Fripp here and the music will appeal to fans of those artists. The vocals are less mannered and pretentious than on earlier albums, having a more direct ability to communicate. This album is recommended for those times when you need a mood piece such as this. It won't appeal to many and is delightfully out of step with modern chart music, but that is sadly their loss not ours.
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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2004
Further exploring the ambient textures beautifully executed on the previous “Returning Jesus” album, the duo of Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness offer another collection of touching torch songs. The winning partnership of Tim’s breathy, longing vocals and Steven Wilson’s masterful musical backdrop never fail to please, though after the perfection of the previous album, this one slightly pales in comparison. But only slightly. There is nothing as heart wrenchingly wonderful as “Close Your Eyes”, but there is enough here to enjoy. In particular, “All The Blue Changes” and “Back When You Were Beautiful” impress, though overall this is a very worthy addition to their output. As good as anything Talk Talk or David Sylvian has produced. With Steven Wilson’s increasingly busy schedule as producer and fronting Porcupine Tree, we should be grateful that every so often both artists get together to serve us such beautiful manna from heaven.
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on 16 November 2009
This album alone proves the genius of Steven Wilson. If he had showed up out of nowhere to give us this, and would vanish afterwards, that would be enough for me. The texture of the sound here must have been born in someone's mind. Now, let's add that it was undertaken by the same person who brought us The Incident and Fear Of The Blank Planet as well... How different is Together We're Stranger from those 2 other albums? That difference and the strength of both these main paths Steven has been moving along proves his musical genius to me. The projects he envisions, the people he brings to the table and the final effect he is able to deliver...are just perfect.

Together We're Stranger is the study of the textured acoustic and ambient sound filled with special effects spreading across the atmospheric landscape, produced to reinforce or being strengthen by the vocal of Tim Bowness. No-Man is a collaboration of Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Tim Bowness. No-Man existed before Porcupine Tree was born.

We begin this album with its title song. The first 22 seconds will make it sound like your equipment is failing, the cd is defected or the file is corrupted. Relaxed that everything is fine we are drifting in the clouds of distorted sounds and noise, not sure at first where we are heading. The melody appears on the wings of a guitar but Tim's voice takes the front stage. We are noticing the incredible beauty of a vocal which explains the project and this unique partnership. Michael Bearpark's guitar solo adds texture to this mesmerizing acoustic mood. Michael is an expert in the excited electronic states of large molecules and their photochemical reaction dynamics as well as a force behind Darkroom. Is our listening experience here being added by reactions transferred from the field of chemistry?

All The Blue Changes is hauntingly beautiful and the mood creation here develops in ways we are used to already. This is Steven's mood building at its best, gradually, with increasing depth, steadily, surrounding and filling us with these beautiful sounds which are his domain... If you are very familiar with the music of Porcupine Tree, this is Fadeway, Rainy Taxi, or Fuse The Sky all over again... Tim's voice introduces the process of the `all the blue changes, all the blue chains, all the blue changes rearanged'...but the changes themselves are starting to take the life of their own...This song is an absolute classic in my realm of music of...spiritual strengths.

The City In A Hundred Ways is a short instrumental showcasing beautiful clarinet work by Ben Castle.

Things I Want To Tell You is a 9 minute long piece with Tim's vocals taking the front stage.

Photographs In Black And White starts as an acoustic guitar accompanied simple song but develops into a monumental 10 minute long progressive sound when the slight background of Roger Eno's harmonium comes forth and becomes the center stage, reinforced by whatever Steven does to create his depths. Tim's vocals become distorted and fall back when the mood fills us with owe...Tim's voice appears again and then everything ends in...noise. That vocal arrangement turns this piece and this album into such an unique masterpiece of mood.

The lyrics of Back When You Were Beautiful say it best: `singing songs they'll never understand, tempo drifts in half-cut wonderlands'. This one is incredible again...Tim's voice is as beautiful as the lyrics he sings and the accompanied mood here is structured by a layer of noise, a simple acoustic guitar part, an occasional organ and cymbal sounds which all move back and forth and do whatever required to create and sustain this gorgeous mood.

The Break-Up For Real is another song with Tim's vocal taking front stage. I can almost swear I can hear Steven's voice in the background for a few seconds but it is probably only because Tim's voice is being delivered by means we know from Porcupine Tree's music.

My favorite songs of this gorgeous album are All The Blue Changes, Photographs In Black And White, Together We're Stranger and Back When You Were Beautiful but this really is a concept album and it should be listen as such quite often. It will put you in that perfect peaceful relaxed mood. Another thing I wanted to mention is that besides the musical genius of Steven Wilson I also see his amazing business sense, which to me very often is apparent when someone is capable to pick the right people and bring them together to deliver great things.
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on 9 April 2003
I have been a fan of Porcupine Tree for since 1999 and have only just had the courage to buy something by No Man. My only regret is that I didn't put my trust in Steven Wilson's music earlier. Together We're Stranger is a cd (unusually with no drums), with wonderful guitar/keyboard soundscapes with Tim Bowness adding the vocals. I don't really like to compare groups with groups, but this to me sounded in places, a bit like an acoustic version of Tangerine Dream/early Floyd along with Porcupine Tree's more acoustic numbers. Don't be like me and miss out on years worth of music really worth listening to. I'm off to buy No Man's back catalogue!!
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on 9 April 2011
What can be said about this album that has not been mentioned by other reviewers?

"Together we're stranger" is an odd title for a glorious musical experience that has been written, crafted and performed with a level of care that eclipses the shallow offerings that grace the popular music charts.

Like many albums of distinction, this deserves to be experienced and enjoyed in one sitting as the songs are thematically linked and linked by arrangements that drift into each other.

Lead singer Tim Bowness is blessed with a distinctive voice that is palpably coloured by sadness and imbues the songs with regret and longing. Musical genius Steven Wilson textures the songs with instrumentation that never crowds the lyrics but shapes the mood of each song. The production (Wilson again?) is elegant and not disfigured by the "loudness" mastering technique.

Glorious stuff.
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on 6 January 2008
One of the greatest british albums of the last 20 years, yes, its that good. Forget Brit pop bands and listen to No-man. Musicianship at it's best. Steve Wilson's excellent musicianship and the amazing emotion from the voice of bowness. Back when you were beautful is heartbreaking. Check out their other work, (all the blue changes). Also check out Blackfield and Porcupine Tree.The other projects Wilson is involved with.
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