HiRez Poll No Man - SCHOOLYARD GHOSTS [DVD-A]

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Rate the DVD-A of No Man - SCHOOLYARD GHOSTS

  • 6:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Poor Fidelity, Poor Mix, Poor Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    38

elshagon

Well-known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
196
I received my copy of No-Man's Schoolyard Ghosts today and given it two listens (albeit only thru my computer set-up so far). The copy I received came with a cd, dvd-audio and a bonus cd of alternates/edits. The dvd-a contains 3 music videos (both stereo and surround), it's always nice to get videos in surround. The menu and disc worked flawlessly.
Like the other No-Man dvd-audio I own "Together We're Stranger" this one is mellow for the most part. I enjoyed Schoolyard Ghosts more than the last album. The mix, instrumentation and atmospheric sound are top notch. Something quite different than most of the stuff you'll find out there. All the musicians involved should be commended. Tim Bowness singing style takes some getting used to, but fits the music. Steven Wilson on guitar, bass, keyboards, piano, whatever is excellent as usual. My favorite song off the album so far is the second one "beautiful songs you should know."
No-Man is a group that isn't something I typically listen to everyday, not sure how to define it (mellow, atmospheric, progressive rock?). So guess I'd give the music an 8.5, the mix a 10, the presentation and extras a 10. A solid 9 for me, not quite as enjoyable as the recently released PT Lightbulb Sun, but a nice album that I can see growing on me. Ok, I relent...I'm giving it a 10.
 

rusinurbe

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As we are becoing accostomed to with a Steve Wilson related release the content of the disc is excellent and complimentary material is supurb.

The disc is in my prefered format DVDA and CD (one for the house one for the car)

The music is a step on from 'Together we're stranger' I think after 3 listens so far I prefer this disc. I have started exploring the older no-man albums and this certainly in my opion is not out of place.

On first listen through on quite a high volume, 'pigeon drummer' caught me out By what a jolt. Also love the three part 'truenorth'

great stuff 10 out of 10
 

neil wilkes

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London, England
FWIW, the videos are also in 24-bit stereo as well as DTS 5.1.

Still not seen a final copy - Carl Glover's art is awesome.
 

uffeolby

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
320
Location
Västerås, Sweden
I received my copy yesterday and have listened once to the 5.1 lossless and once to the bonus CD.

Quick reflections:
- Sonics and mix as good as you expect from Steven Wilson, meaning a pure 10
- Music is very good and a little more varied than on their last release, a 9
- Package and artwork is really top notch, on par with Lightbulb Sun
- Very nice menus in anamorphic widescreen, why is not all menus done in this format?
- Some audible static pops like on the Lightbulb Sun in the menus.
- The bonus CD is very nice with sometimes really alternative versions of the songs.

First the Lighbulb Sun CD/DVD-Audio combo and then this release with the DVD-Audio available from day one. Too good to be true...

I will spin it a few times more before I vote.

You are in for a treat, all of you who still is waiting for the mailman to deliver this little goodie.

//Uffe
 

Guy Robinson

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
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Dec 16, 2002
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Location
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
From a surround mix and sonic perspective this is a 10. However, what is with "pidgeon drummer"? It doesn't belong with the rest of the tracks. It's like SW had a PT moment all of a sudden and couldn't control it. It just doesn't belong and the distortion/compression on the track takes away from the theme of the music as I have to turn the volume down from everything else or it gets annoying. So I am going to be harsh on this one and give it a 9. It would have been an 8 but then I plan on skipping this track everytime I play Schoolyard Ghosts so this is a small thing really. But I shouldn't have to edit it out myself. Without "pidgeon drummer" it is a 9, with it an 8.
 

rusinurbe

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It does catch you out a bit but its still a great song.

I would have thought Tim Bowness would have had a say as to what should or should not appear on the album and it is in the style of some of songs which appeared earlier albums on the 'dry cleaning ray' CD, cant remember of the top of my head which one but it was remixed by Muslimgauze, so for me it pure No-Man and a great song.
 
Last edited:

Ge Someone

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
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Jan 19, 2005
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Netherlands
After I had updated the firmware of my player the HiRes audio also played. :eek:
I like this disc. Much is in the same style as Together we're stranger, but new elements are added. Sound is amazing.
 

doppelbock

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Joined
Jul 1, 2005
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Albuquerque, NM
I got the disk (and bonus) in the mail about 10 days ago. Unfortunately I've not been home long enough to listen under my most ideal conditions more than once, so my comments as to hi-res quality will have to wait. The one time I did play the dvd-a disk I thought it was superb.

I did copy the tracks to my iPod (320 aac) so I could listen while away from home and get familiar with the material though....and I really love it. Truenorth is a no-man masterpiece to me - brilliant the way it flows from section to section so naturally, great stuff. I don't find the "noisiness" of Pigeon Drummer bothersome at all, and I am glad they included it on the record...shows another side of what they're capable of.
 

uffeolby

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
320
Location
Västerås, Sweden
I received my copy yesterday and have listened once to the 5.1 lossless and once to the bonus CD.

Quick reflections:
- Sonics and mix as good as you expect from Steven Wilson, meaning a pure 10
- Music is very good and a little more varied than on their last release, a 9
- Package and artwork is really top notch, on par with Lightbulb Sun
- Very nice menus in anamorphic widescreen, why is not all menus done in this format?
- Some audible static pops like on the Lightbulb Sun in the menus.
- The bonus CD is very nice with sometimes really alternative versions of the songs.

First the Lighbulb Sun CD/DVD-Audio combo and then this release with the DVD-Audio available from day one. Too good to be true...

I will spin it a few times more before I vote.

You are in for a treat, all of you who still is waiting for the mailman to deliver this little goodie.

//Uffe
Now I am ready to vote after spinning the DVD-A 5.1 a few times more. It is perfect in its genre, but since I happen to like Porcupine Tree's music an itch more more and gave the fantastic Lightbulb Sun 10 points, I have to reduce this grade to a 9.

//Uffe
 

Coren

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
40
Location
Belgium
Excellent disc overall.

First, I'd like to say I'm really grateful that the DVD-A got released immediately and not six months later like they did with PT's FoaBP. Pass it on to the people in charge: this makes me happy, please keep doing it that way.
Second, the sound quality is stellar, the formats included on the disc are awesome (in comparison, the special edition of Opeth's newest effort only has the album in 4.1 DTS [and for some reason the bitrate of the DTS files is only half of the bitrate you usually get] but the bonus tracks are only present in stereo AC3 format, which makes me a sad panda), the presentation (both on-disc and the packaging) is excellent.
Third, the music in itself is quite good, more varied than Together We're Stranger. I for one absolutely love Pigeon Drummer, it's quite possibly my favorite track on the album. Truenorth is also excellent, though I can't help but wonder if Tim Bowness/Steven Wilson heard the Solaris soundtrack by Cliff Martinez and if that could somehow have influenced parts of the track. The resounding bass notes and the tingling piano... The resemblance is striking. Some songs are a bit less enthralling and a tad too "slow" for my tastes.

Overall, though, it's simply impossible to give this album less than a 9. Quality releases like this one are still way too rare (thank god we have Neil and Steven). I would have given it a 10, but so far the album has failed to cause the goosebumps I get every time I listen to the last part of Photographs in Black and White. Still, excellent album, excellent disc. Congrats to all the people involved.
 

Cai Campbell

In Remembrance
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Seattle, WA
I guess I'm going to go against the grain here as I can only rate this release a seven. It's definitely well above average compared to surround releases as a whole but it falls short compared to Steve Wilson's surround releases. Granted, he has set the bar quite high but "Schoolyard Ghosts" serves to bring down his average, if you want my honest opinion.

The quality of the recording is superb. Musically it's quite enjoyable and ultimately more accessible than "Together We're Stranger". However I consider the latter to be a slight negative. I prefer the more adventurous tact of "Together We're Stranger".

But where I find this release most wanting is in the surround mix. You can make an argument that the mix fits the mood of the music and I would agree, but I just don't find myself as engaged with the music in the way that a truly great surround mix allows me; in the way that "Together We're Stranger" does (which I rated ten enthusiastic points).
 

peterzach

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Since 2002/2003
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burnaby bc canada
Well, finally got this as was waiting for Canadian release, ordered through Amazan.ca. Most of the music is very relaxing and maybe thats why Pigeon Drummer is put on there as I put this on after getting home from work, I was tired, obviously very tired as was drifting off to sleep during track 2. All of a sudden the loud drumming/guitar from Pigeon Drummer wakes me up out of my sleep and I am alert and back in listening mode instead of sleep mode. So not sure if that is why that track is on here as Guy Robinson is correct it is definitely out of place from the rest of the tracks on this cd. I think the surround choices are very tastefully done on this release as you are more enveloped in sound and vocals for most part are dead center.
Favorite tracks for me so far are:
All Sweet Things
Wherever there is light
Truenorth

Its a good release, give this one a 9 over all.
 

Coren

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
40
Location
Belgium
Did anyone else the very high-pitched noise when Tim is singing starting at 6:50 on Truenorth? It's really only when he's singing (and only on a couple of lines in the verse, not in the refrain), so I think something went wrong in that particular part of the vocals track. I've noticed this on the surround version on my PC and on the stereo version on my mobile phone so I'm pretty sure it's not just me, since they come from different sources, have been ripped with different tools and I played them on different equipment...

It's horrible or anything, it just bothers me a bit as it's the kind of soft sound that still manages to bore its way into your skull XD Just wondering if anyone else noticed.
 

Baker

Well-known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
105
Location
Near Paris
I agree with Cai Campbell : Steven Wilson has been a little bit (oh, very little) lazy on surround mixes for Fear, Lightbulb and Schoolyard. It is indeed really good, even great (the sound quality alone, separating each instrument, is plain marvel), but those three don't have the "dare-all", "in your face" mixes that made In Absentia, Together, Deadwing and Stupid Dream MONUMENTS of surround sound.

I surely won't complain, it's already a very good job, I just hope that for the King Crimson mixes, Steven will get again his magic formulae out of the cauldron.

Now I hope for Sky Moves... Errrr... I PRAY for Sky Moves. Errr... shall I BEG for Sky Moves ? ^^
 

rtbluray

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This album is IMO the superior of the two no-man albums to be graced with a surround mix.

One interesting thing is how upfront the vocal is right away on the track "All Sweet Things". I love it! The surround especially builds towards the end of the track with the distorted guitars and backing vocals immersing you.
I'm certainly glad that Tim Bowness was never opposed to surround the way Avin Geffen used to be, cause this no-man album definitely works very well in surround.
On the second song "Beautiful Songs You Should Know", besides the wonderful guitar hits in the surrounds, we're also treated to Colin Edwin's wonderful acoustic bass playing, not to mention a wonderful counterpoint of vocal melodies towards the end of the song.
If you think it's all peaceful and tranquil music, wait until Track 3. It's very vicious indeed with drumming courtesy of Pat Mastelotto. This song could win the award for most aggressive surround mixing.
The tranquility does return however with "Truenorth", featuring wonderful flute playing from Theo Travis. Then there is some wonderful pedal steel playing on the following track "Wherever There is Light". I also really enjoy "Song of the Surf", and "Streaming" has it moments, although it's a tad bit weaker than some of the other songs on the album.
THEN comes the finale, what could be my favorite no-man track, "Mixtaped".
One of my favorite things about this track is Gavin Harrison's drumming on it, laying the mood while not getting in the way.
The surround on this one is very subtle at first, but it slowly builds as Steven's guitar playing grows in intensity.

I don't think this DVD-A is available anymore via standard retailers, but if you can find it, you should definitely go for it!
Gave it a '10' at the time. Really more like a '9.5' but I'll round up, whatever. ;)
 
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