Exposé Online banner

Carptree — Man Made Machine
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 223, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Man Made Machine Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Carptree

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Brainticket - Alchemic Universe – Alchemic Universe is more or less the work of Joel Vandroogenbroeck (recording under the name of “Mystery Hologram A-U-rchestra”), with some spoken vocals by Carole Muriel. The text, by Lance...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues