Recorded in two sessions five years apart with slightly different lineups, Undrugged features Welsh psych rockers Man interpreting unplugged versions of their best-known songs (and a few covers). A first batch of six tracks had been cut in 1996 by Terry Willams, Deke Leonard, Martin Ace, and Micky Jones, and shelved. In 2001 the last three decided to complete the project with Gareth Llewellyn Thorrington and Bob Richards. There is a different feeling on both sessions; alternating one and the other in the track list didn't hide it. The 1996 recordings have a pastoral, singing-by-the-campfire feel, thanks to mostly guitar-led arrangements. The other tracks also feature Thorrington's piano and turn into something bluesier, much less psychedelic and dreamy. Of the old Man favorites, "Scotch Corner" gets the best treatment, a five-star, unplugged-style adaptation of a classic rocker. Of the cover tunes, the Beach Boys' "Sail on Sailor" is the most satisfactory. The band is in good shape, not quite as creative or trippy as they used to be, but still able to churn out an entertaining 50 minutes of music. Of course, nobody needed yet another "Georgia on My Mind" (and the delivery, as heartfelt as it is trying to be, does not justify it), the project broadcasts nostalgia vibes throughout the land, and by the time the CD came out, the "unplugged" fad had long died, but it is well done and fans will appreciate it.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture