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Classic Album Review: Mansun | Six

When the Brit-rockers' collage approach works, it's brilliant. When it doesn’t, well…

This came out in 1999 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


There’s a fine line between an inspired collage and a hodge-podge of crap — and Mansun, Britain’s current band of the moment, brazenly trod both sides of that line on Six, their dreamy, dramatic sophomore CD.

Combining everything from standard Britpop to classic rock to classical standards, Mansun build ambitious, multi-layered songscapes that switch tempo, key and genre faster than a malfunctioning jukebox. When it works, it’s brilliant — like the album’s three-song centrepiece, a suite that blends David Bowie, XTC, Prince and Tchaikovsky into a psychedelic pop wonder. But when it doesn’t work — like much of the rest of the album, unfortunately  — all you’re left with is another overhyped British band that sound like they don’t know whether they want to be The Smashing Pumpkins or Pink Floyd. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.