The first thing that strikes you when you put on the new Carptree CD, Man Made Machine is how much Niclas Flinck sounds like Fish. But although there are parts of the CD that could have been taken from Misplaced Childhood, this is much more symphonic than anything that Marillion ever did. The music is a cross between the keyboard based swirls of Man On Fire and Arena, only much, much mellower.
Opening number "Titans Clash Aggressively to Keep an Even Score" has nicely layered background vocals, change of pace, and haunting lead vocals and keyboards. This first number gives the listener hope that a new force in progressive rock may be amongst us. "Sunshine Waters" starts off slow with a Genesis influenced intro and then elevates but never really peaks. After two songs that are entertaining but lack power, "The Weakening Sound's" string section and moodiness continues to mellow the listener out. "Tilting The Scales" and "Burn To Something New" will remind you of the mellowest songs on Childhoods End. Even when they kick-in, they really just increase in volume, but not power.
Man Made Machine shows a ton of promise. They follow in the Marillion and Genesis mode and will appeal to those who desire melody first and foremost in their Progressive Rock. Carptree just lacks the ability to pull you into the music, that powerful hook or rhythm that engrosses you and makes you part of the experience.
1. . Titans clash aggressively to keep an even score (5:29)
2. Sunshine waters (5:48)
3. The weakening sound (6:21)
4. Tilting the scales (6:50)
5. The man you just became (5:15)
6. Man Made Machine (6:18)
7. Burn to something new (5:58)
8. In the centre of an empty space (5:31)
9. The recipe (2:31)
10. This is home (8:17)