(All Album Reviews by maribor)
Man is a Welsh band that started out in the late 1960s and recorded a series of very good space rock albums. They were never considered one of the big acts of the time, but they're regarded highly by record collectors and connoisseurs.
The first question that comes to mind when seeing the credits for the album is if this is indeed the same band that started out in the late 1960s. Sure, Martin Ace and Phil Ryan are here and they were both present on a few albums from the 1970s and Ace has been a constant in the line up since the reformation in 1992, but there are no original members in the band any longer (even Mickey Jones, the original guitarist and the only constant in the Man line-up until not so long ago, has had to end his long spell with Man due to a brain tumour).
The music is also very different to their 70s output, but I decided not to let this bother me. I would treat this as a completely new band and judge it on its own merits. If you can do this, you see that this new Man has a lot to offer. Since the 1970s, Man have simplified their style a great deal. Their music is based on more primal rock'n'roll and blues riffs (this was also occasionally the case in the past) and the new guitarist, Josh Ace, has also added influences from more modern musical trends. The pieces are quite simply structured, with verse and chorus patterns at the forefront. There aren't too many instrumental sections apart from the solos, but they do their variety of simple melodic rock with humorous lyrics (another remnant from their past) rather well. True, I have heard of better examples, but this is definitely not the worst.
The music on the album is written entirely by Martin Ace and his son Josh. 3 of the 5 Martin Ace songs were done with Dulli Engel as the lyricist. Dulli is a similar character to Pete Sinfield on the King Crimson albums. Engel did the artwork for this new effort and, as mentioned, also did some of the lyrics.
This is not the Man of old, it's definitely not the Man progressive fans may be used to. The days of past are long gone, but wisely, Man have moved on and don't linger on the past. This is a more run-of-the-mill rock album, but it is a very enjoyable one. The atmosphere is lighthearted and relaxed, which makes for a very enjoyable listen.