This is a nice album to relax to. Very moody music with atmospheres that it seems only Steven Wilson has the secret of. How he manages to be so recognisable doing this stuff and the heavier Porcupine Tree, is a mystery to me. Great talent always seems to shine. I can listen to this album over and over again and still enjoy it as much. This is quite rare for me.
This album is the best I've heard from No-Man (so far). In the laid back style which the band seem to nail completely, the album moves from the tension filled backdrop on Only Rain (with some very nice brass in the middle section) to the warm inviting Carolina Skeletons. The music is not overly complex but very melodic, I would describe it as “laid back rock” although others may categorise it differently, possibly towards a blues description.
My favourite track is No Defence, seems I'm a little addicted to the slide which (as always with Steven Wilson) is Gilmour style as opposed to country blues. Laid back, nice sound and with some good singing. The trumpet kicks in towards the end of the track. Not too jazzy, with a nice tone. I think this fits well. Returning Jesus is also notable with a repetitive percussive foundation with some nice harmonies playing above it. The track builds to a particularly good climax and then returns to its start.
I've seen No-Man's music described as “textual”, I think this is the best way to describe this album.