HiRez Poll No Man - TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER [DVD-A]

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Rate the DVD-A of No Man - TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER


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JonUrban

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Please post your thoughts and comments on the 2007 DVD-Audio release, including where you found it and what you paid. (y) :phones (n)

THANKS
 

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stormchaser

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I'm not ready to vote on this one yet as it is the sort of album that needs a number of listens to really sink in. Still, I wanted to post some brief comments that might help folks that are on the fence. As described by others, this is a melancholy, meditative album that does bear some resemblance to latter-day Talk Talk with space/silence being an essential part of the music. This is a sit-in-the-dark, drink a glass of wine by candlelight, and take in the music kind of album. While I'm not ready to vote, I can certainly recommend this one.
The menu loads automatically with DTS and Advanced Resolution options for us surround lovers. I've tried both, and predictably (although this is not always the case) there is a significant difference in resolution between the two. My only minor complaint thus far is the length of time it takes for the audio setup screen to load. Surround content is discrete but certainly is organic with the mains. I'll be spending more time with this one.
I picked this up through Burning Shed online.
 

DennisMabry

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I attempted to review this, but disliked what I wrote. So instead I have copied the description in the liner notes which I think says it best.




If mainstream rock and pop seems just a little too trite, predictable and manufactured for you, maybe you'd prefer something that demands (and rewards) your fullest attention. Welcome to the haunted universe of No-Man.

They've been around since 1987 when singer and wordsmith Tim Bowness came together with multi-instrumentalist and producer Steven Wilson, best-known as a member of the modern prog-rock combo Porcupine Tree. This duo has spent the succeeding couple of decades writing and recording some of the most spine-chillingly gorgeous music imaginable.

There are moments on this CD when a sensitive soul might just break down and cry. In 'Back When You Were Beautiful', for example, Bowness sings the tragic lyric with such angelic beauty that it's hard to imagine how the song could become any more heartbreaking than it is in the opening verse. Then in comes a swelling synth chord that melts into a choral backing that ups the emotional level by several notches and, as if that's not enough, a slowly plucked banjo enters the mix and you start to wonder... how can a banjo sound so sad? Wilson's decision to introduce a banjo, usually such a vibrantly cheerful instrument, at that point in the song might seem insane to most songwriters, but it's absolutely the right instrument - maybe it's the same effect as seeing a clown cry.

It's odd to realise that what Bowness tends to deal with in his lyrics is essentially the same universal stuff as Robbie Williams or the dreaded Barry Manilow deals with - human relationships and lost loves. The difference comes in how Bowness does it. For



most popular singers, simply stating that love has been lost and it hurts is enough, but Bowness gets under the skin and says the things that we all think but rarely say. When he sings of "the hollow thump of life that has no taste" or of "spending days on the phone while the cold eats your bones", you know how badly he's been hurt by love, and you recognise that his pain isn't any different from yours - he's just better at admitting it and expressing it.

Of course, it isn't just Bowness's words and voice that make No-Man's music so affecting. He's only one half of the equation. Steven Wilson's multi-instrumental contributions and his brilliant production skills add so much that most of the tracks could be released as instrumentals and they'd still be profoundly moving. No-Man's choice of contributing musicians also adds a great deal to the mix. Without Ben Castle's lovely clarinet solo and Roger Eno's harmonium in 'Photographs In Black And White', Michael Bearpark's anguished, howling guitar solo in the title track, or David Picking's spooky trumpet lines in 'All The Blue Changes', the impact of those songs would be significantly diminished. (And yet, without them, we'd never know, would we?)

In all fairness, I should point out that this is not an album for the faint-hearted. If you like your music cheery and uptempo, and don't want it getting deep down inside you and ripping your heart to shreds, steer well clear of No-Man. If, however, you want to turn out the lights and be taken on ethereal musical voyages along the hidden pathways of your own inner space, this is definitely for you,

Johnny Black (Mojo/Q/backonthetracks.com)




I've listened to this five times through and something keeps drawing me back. I agree with stormchaser's take of; "sit-in-the-dark, drink a glass of wine by candlelight, and take in the music kind of album." That says it well! If you are even remotely a fan of Steven Wilson this is not to be missed. However it is not something you will want to listen to everyday. You need to be in the mood. My gut says to give it a 7.5 but I'm rounding it up to an 8 just for the 48/24 multichannel experience that it is. (y)

Dennis
 

elshagon

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Bought this off of the Burning Shed site solely due to the Steve Wilson Porcupine Tree releases on dvd-a. Never listened to No-Man before, never heard of them. The music is mellow, some times dark, ambient and haunting. The mix and arrangements are great. Wilson seems to have the magic touch as far as mixing these 5.1 dvd-a discs. I agree with Stormchaser regarding the audio set up screen. 30 seconds pass before you can make your audio selection. There's one music video, two extra tracks, and a photo gallery included as extras.
I've listened to this twice now and really like it. I'm sure the music isn't for everyone. The mix and clarity do it for me. Great chill out music. Reminds me a little of Sigur Ros and the oft mentioned Talk Talk. I give the music an 8.5, the mix a 9.5, the packaging and extras a 9.5 (the menu audio selection delay the only gripe, and the value a 10 (love these cd/dvd-a combos). Overall a 9 for me :sun .
 

timbre4

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I'm ordering it from CD Universe as I slipped up earlier on Burning Shed.
 

zabble

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I don't know if I'm ready to vote, but I just heard this and I must say the mix is superb--top notch.

For those who are unfamiliar with this side of Steve Wilson, I would place it somewhere in between Porcupine Tree and Bass Communion---not driving like much of PT music but certainly more coherent than BC. Although SW isn't credited for vocals, some of the background vocals sound suspiciously similar in tone and harmony structure to those on Porcupine Tree records.

My favorite song is the ten minute "Photographs in Black and White", particularly the last half. The guitar part that begins at 5:12 has a very PT sound to it and when the low D note drops in at 6:52, pure bliss ensues for the rest of the song (IMO worth the price of admission for this alone).
 

Manmc

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The quality, care and attention given to the mix plus the fact that it was a REALLY nice wine made me pushed it to a nine :)

Course when I sobered up , I just got even angrier that the new PT is only dts and seems to be in short supply and isnt shipping yet and Im supposed to be seein them live in a couple of weeks ;)

Agree about PIBW too . Really nice.

~M~
 

solaris

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Yea this one will take a while to digest. Surprisingly found this at my local A&B sound,for $20 CDN, thats a great price for a dubble disc set. Hey I take long exposure pictures at night just like the cover, look left.
 
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rusinurbe

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I liked this a lot another Steve Wilson Classic, from teh hardest working man in music.
Looking forward to the rest of this years surround releases from Mr Wilson (Should that be Sir):sun
 

Coren

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This is something else...

I bought the regular edition of this album two weeks before I heard the announcement for the DVD-A. >.< The fact that I bought it again anyway goes to show I really enjoyed this album. Very relaxing and occasionally very intense.

The mix is also different from what I'm used to. It doesn't have the "discrete" feeling like the Porcupine Tree DVD-As I have, and usually I'd whine about that because I love aggressive mixes, but in this case it just fits. The mix feels very organic and full. You're surrounded and caressed by layers of sound and this really adds to the dreaminess and immersion. "Photographs in Black and White" was already my personal favorite and got even better. I didn't think that was possible.

Very nice disc. 9/10 (because music-wise, PT still rule more).

Note that I didn't listen to the Hi-rez version since I don't have a DVD-A player. My score is based on the DTS track.
 

Guy Robinson

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I love this disc after only one listen. For the type of music it is I am giving it a 10. Both for the sonics and the quality of the music and the 5.1 mix. Very encompassing. There is also none of the compression you hear with modern recordings including Porcupine Tree. The bass clarinet sound is spot on. In fact everything is. Really enjoying it. Also works with a fine Wheat Doppelbock as well. No Scotch required! Cheers!

Oh, came from Burning Shed for about $23 CDN delivered.
 

solaris

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Now that I have listen to it outside late at night(cd version) I know I love the music. The MC mix is a great as well so I voted 9 but would vote 10 today.It's like Eno with David Gilmour on guitar.
 

Guy Robinson

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Now that I have listen to it outside late at night(cd version) I know I love the music. The MC mix is a great as well so I voted 9 but would vote 10 today.It's like Eno with David Gilmour on guitar.
Like most of the other CD/DVD combos I have, the CD will likely never get played.Oh well........
 

Cai Campbell

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It's like Eno with David Gilmour on guitar.
That's too funny cuz that's almost exactly what I thought when I first started listening to this. My exact thought was "Wow, sounds like Brian Eno, but more melodic". Interestingly enough, Brian's brother, Roger Eno, performs on this album.

"Together We're Stranger" is a wonderful atmospheric piece that manages to transcend your normal atmospheric/ambient fare in that it retains your active interest. I attribute this to the Steven Wilson magic that allows him to simultaneously occupy multiple musical planes of existence. The surround mix itself is nothing short of magical in its ability to create a spatial environment with absolutely no borders whatsoever. I can't imagine a more perfect execution of the atmospheric genre. As far as I'm concerned, this is the new standard. 10 points.
 

timbre4

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He really does mix very effectively and supportively of the music at hand.

Really hope the second Bass Communion album gets this sensitive 5.1 treatment one day; it's probably the most conventional musically and generates more frequent listens...

Fingers crossed on those KC 5.1 mixes too.
 
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