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.