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Mansun Album Reviews 4out of 5
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Even though they started out around the time of Britpop mania, Mansun did everything they could to distance themselves from the movement. Their boldest statement was the 'Six' album; a quasi-prog-rock record that still divides critics to this day. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) their unwillingness to compromise musically, they had a devoted and loyal fanbase; three thousand of whom signed a petition to get the tracks from the unfinished fourth album released. Mansun not only deliver on this request but also add two more CDs making 'Kleptomania' an essential purchase for collectors. The album itself is a fine send-off; harder and more aggressive than 'Little Kix'and the first three tracks - two of them incomplete - set the tone for surging rock, fronted as always by Paul Draper's impressive vocal range. 'Love Remains' and 'Home' feature two of their best hypnotic choruses. Only 'Wanted So Much' - a misguided attempt to merge rock and electronica - strays from the good form shown elsewhere.

As for the extras, Mansun were well-respected for including quality non-album tracks on their EPs. The main criticism now is that some of these songs do sound rather similar to each other and are perhaps not quite as good as we like to remember them. Having said that, the Bowie-influenced 'Decisions, Decisions' and the romantic longing of 'Railings' (a co-write with one of their heroes, Howard Devoto) rank alongside their very best work. Finally, the best the 'Rarities' CD offers are the unreleased 'It's OK' and 'Drones', both of which pile on the angst in the best possible way. Overall, an excellent compilation which has enough quality to attract casual fans as well as the devotees.

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  CD1 (The 4th Album Sessions) Track Listing
01 Getting Your Way
02 Slipping Away
03 Keep Telling Myself
04 Harris
05 Love Remains
06 Cry 2 My Face
07 No Signal/No Complaints
08 Home
09 Fragile
10 Wanted So Much
11 Good Intentions Heal The Soul

Standout Track = Standout Track

  CD2 (Non-Album Singles, B-Sides And EP-Only Tracks) Track Listing
01 Take It Easy Chicken
02 Everyone Must Win
03 Closed For Business
04 Ski Jump Nose
05 Can't Afford To Die
06 Railings
07 Flourella
Standout Track Decisions, Decisions
09 Been Here Before
10 My Idea Of Fun
11 When The Wind Blows
12 Check Under The Bed
13 Skin Up Pin Up
14 I Care
15 The World's Still Open

  CD3 (Rarities, Demos And Unreleased Tracks) Track Listing
01 Rock 'N' Roll Loser
02 Secrets
03 These Days (Full Length Version)
04 It's Ok
05 Drones
06 Right To The End Of The Earth
07 I Can Only Disappoint U (Home Demo)
08 Love Is... (Home Demo)
09 Love Remains (Home Demo)
10 Shot By Both Sides (Live John Peel Session)
11 Taxlo$$ (Live)

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Also Recommended:
Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour
Doves - Lost Souls
Leaves - Breathe
Tears For Fears - Songs From The Big Chair
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Magazine - Maybe It's Right To Be Nervous Now
Mansions, The - Charms For Love And Revenge
Mansun - Little Kix
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