Sound — 10
The best way to describe No-man is with two words: Experimental and Beautiful. It tends to be a strange combination now'a'days, in a world full of bands that focus exclusively on pop songwriting rather than trying to make new and interesting music. No-man writes multiple pop-structured songs with incredibly beautiful experimentation taking center stage the entire time. Returning Jesus is most likely one of the most perfect albums No-man's ever made. They manage to blend together so many styles in there music it is hard to count them all. Jazz, drone, classical, pop and of course some rock in there as well. All this combines to make a stunningly beautiful album.
Lyrics — 9
Tim Bowness has awesome vocal skills. His style is comparable to a lover's whisper. Soft, breathy and uplifting. All these describe the vocals. Though the lyrics themselves. Are interesting. Some of the lyrics are incredible and heartfelt, but others like "cowboy kate came to late" kind of ruin the songs to me a little. Thought they are easy to look past and they overall add a lot to the music.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a major change from the first albums of No-man. Moving away from trip-hop to an unclassifiable genre is a tough thing to do. But No-man does it so, so well. My favorite songs are no doubt the opener "Only Rain" (opening the album with sweeping strings, and ending with Colin Edwin's awesome bassline), the amazing track "Lighthouse" (impossible to describe) and finally the climax of "All That You Are". I personally love this album, but I must say I'm not sure that it is for everyone. Any songwriter and most musicians will appreciate No-man's work, but the common man may not be willing to invest the time to listen to the album in full. Still if there is any No-man album to give a first try, "Returning Jesus" is it.