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

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Threshold - Clone – Given that this is a Karl Groom project, and that it's on the GEP label, and that the first tune is called "Freaks," you would be pretty safe to assume this is another tired and unwanted neo-prog...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues