Carptree — Man Made Machine
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 223, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01
It’s a fine art to write big, powerful music without sounding either pompous or foolish, and this Swedish duo pulls it off well. The result is a little like a heavily orchestrated mid-70s Genesis, with tons of keyboards forming the bulk of the backing, though not so derivative as to seem plagiaristic. Singer Niclas Flinck has a powerful voice, and while there is a detectable accent to his English, my only complaint is with his unnatural diction on some of the awkward (though intellectually intriguing) lyrics he sings, for which he has only himself to blame, since he wrote them. The band’s other half is Carl Westholm, who covers the keyboards and co-writes the music. A variety of guests add guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, including a chamber choir, since the massed arrangement just wasn’t big enough yet. Carptree’s saving grace is that while the music has a dark and serious edge, there seems to be an element of lightness present, even bordering on humor, as if they know they’ve gone over the top, but they’re having so much fun up there you have to smile with them. There are quieter moments to contrast all the bombast, and the overall result is not like typical neo-prog, to my ears at least. So while my tastes generally run to the experimental, I can quite enjoy this exercise in massively produced, meticulously executed prog overload.
Related artist(s): Carptree
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more