Man : Endangered Species (2000) a jpoc music review
The band keeps on finding new things to say.
Nine out of ten.
Were it not for Bernard Allison's "Across the Water" this would be my CDof the year.
Discounting a few CD reissues and live recordings, this is the first Man release for some half a decade. It was eagerly awaited by the band's fans.
The opening track "Conflict of Interest" gives notice that this is not just a further dose of traditional Man music. It sounds more like Patrick Moraz or Vangelis than Man. The song evolved back towards more familiar style but still with a new slant.
This theme is maintained throughout the rest of the CD. While the music is recognisably Man, there are new sounds and styles to prevent things from getting stale.
My personal favourite is "Face to Face" it has everything that makes up the best of Man songs. Great music, surreal lyrics and a setting that gives plenty of scope for extended improvisation when performed live.
I must also mention the sleeve notes. As usual, when Deke Leonard is on form, these are almost worth the price of the CD by themselves. Commenting on the latest of the band's line up changes he notes that "Drummers are rather like underpants. - you have to change them regularly."
If you are new to Man, I'd not recommend this CD as an introduction. Their classic "Be Good to Yourself at Least Once a Day" is really the best way to get to know them but if you have, and appreciate some of their earlier work you will be very pleased with this demonstration that old Welsh rockers don't die, they just keep on producing great music.