Speak [Italy]

Speak [Italy]

by No-Man


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Speak [Italy]

In an interesting artistic choice, the next full No-Man album to appear after Wild Opera was, in ways, the band's first. Originally surfacing as a self-released cassette in the late '80s, Speak was reissued in the late '90s in slightly different form. Rather than a straight re-release, Bowness re-recorded all his vocals for the songs, though the music, with only two exceptions -- "Curtain Dream" and "Night Sky, Sweet Earth" -- stayed the same as when Wilson and founder member Ben Coleman recorded it. The result is an intriguing and sometimes revelatory revisit to the band's earliest days, with Bowness able to address what he felt were some of his vocal limitations or excesses at the time. Wilson's own musical work at this point is generally much more spare and low key than the full-bodied drama and dance which would soon emerge, but he's already clearly demonstrating his ear for both performance and production. Two noteworthy covers appear -- the first, "Pink Moon," is the Nick Drake song of note, confirming Bowness' long-held love for the singer years before his end-of-century popularity. Bowness' delivery is a winner, Wilson's soft guitar plucking and reversed playing textures a fine counterpart. The other remake is a Donovan cover -- not "Colours," which would later become a key early single, but "River Song," given a sweetly haunting performance on chiming guitar and backing keyboards, Bowness' singing sure and supple. Familiar cuts from later releases surface as well. Early B-side "Iris Murdoch Cut Me Down" is already there in structure if not in total form, while the dramatic conclusion to Loveblows and Lovecries, "Heaven's Break," appears here practically the same as the final take, sheer epic loveliness incarnate, with Richard Felix's guest harmonica adding an extra touch not found on the future version.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/15/2009
Label: Kscope
UPC: 0802644712925
catalogNumber: 129
Rank: 258800

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