Wednesday, May 12, 1999

OK Confusion

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Six, Mansun’s second album, revels in a vision of modern existential dystopia that members of Radiohead might find bleak. The band’s last album was unquestionably mediocre – bratty, blandly assimilated Britpop, Blur-Radiohead Lite – and the influences haven’t changed noticeably on Six. Trying to explain why Six turned out so good, then, is about as frustrating and fruitless an endeavor as those described throughout the album. (Typical: "Stop you’re looking miserable/Can’t be bothered to get up today/My future’s looking positive/No one even picked on me today/So you tested negative/Panic in your bedsit goes away/You convert to Scientology/To feel a part of something/Once again.")

As the above-quoted lyrics from the song "Negative" attest, frontman Draper’s vision is overblown – especially when it’s reiterated over the course of 13 long songs. This quality should detract from the album’s charm, but it doesn’t; rather, it suits Draper’s themes of information and sensory overload, as does the full-throttle, stylistically schizoid music. For one example, "Fall Out" is anchored by a recognizable quotation from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, metamorphoses into Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie glam, then spins into full-on guitar bombast. As on the title track and "Legacy" – two other quick-change standouts – if the CD player weren’t keeping track you’d think several, very brief and very different songs had flashed by. Draper and company keep this craziness under reasonable control with their consistently thrilling guitar lines, astounding pacing and totally unexpected rock ’n’ roll sexiness.

Paul Draper may be confused, Mansun may be confused, the world may be confused; Six is undeniably a concept album about confusion. Thankfully, on record, it’s all well in hand.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Maya Singer

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation