Ok, so Ive made my point about Stevens work in generalso lets just concentrate on NO-MAN for the time being
All the Blue Changes is an anthology of tracks from all the projects albums in-between 1988 and 2003, the time when Together Were Stranger was released. While by now a new album has come out (the absolute gem Schoolyard Ghosts), this anthology really pin-points the cream of the cream in No-Mans rich musical landscapes and melodic sense.
I personally prefer the second phase of the project, namely the albums after Wild Opera, which means that my favorite part is the second album of this compilation, which best represents that more contemporary phase.
To describe No-Mans musicality is to brag about the sense of melody, the richness of the harmonies and the capacity to include numerous details that enlighten the music even more, independently from the trick that is used, and that can be an acoustic guitar, an eerie sax, a haunting keyboard tapestry or anything else. Sometimes its like a more popish-art David Sylvian (just listen to Only Rain), a slower Porcupine Tree or a mellower Blackfield. But the important is that the calmness, brightness and optimism that the compositions transport are able to embrace us in its tight yet strangely releasing hug. The music seems to smoothly caress our soul and take it on an astral sleep flightaway from us into a calm atmosphere filled of green pastures and indigo waters.
This leaves me relaxed and energized again, like a non-illicit opium drug that cleans our stressful ways and recharges the needed batteries to endure another routine day.
This can be angelic musicpure, refreshing, uplifting. Just what it takes to get your day going on the right foot and with the right moodor to end it that way.