I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Carptree’s latest cd, Man Made Machine. Mainly because I never heard of them before. After a few spins I was hooked to their sound and kept hitting the repeat button after the CD was over.
Carptree sounds basically to what Marillion may have sounded had Fish stayed onboard all these years. That combined with some nods to The Beatles and Supertramp gives the listener something in between the mainstream and progressive realms of music without claiming either side.
Carptree is primarily a duo consisting of Niclas Flinck (vocals) and Carl Westholm (keyboards). Since their 2003 release, Superhero, they had guest musicians now known as the “No Future Orchestra”. Niclas and Carl have known each other for 20 years now and have previously played together in various groups.
They formed Carptree in 1997 and in 2001 released their self-titled debut album. Then in 2005, now signed to InsideOut Music, they released their third album, “Man Made Machine”. Once again the “No Future Orchestra” is used to flesh out the duo’s vision.
The music on Man Made Machine is varied within a moody style, similar to modern day Marillion and Gazpacho. The album starts off with one of my favorites called “Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score”. The other song is a Beatles/ Supertramp sounding song called Tilting The Scales. The title track reminds me of Drama-era Yes with the vocoder style vocals.
After several listens, I firmly believe this is one of the best releases of 2005. To those that are new to the band such as myself will probably seek out their first two albums very soon. So needless to say this is another highly recommended release for fans of pop driven prog!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on November 8th, 2005