« on: September 16, 2009, 12:01:56 AM »
Went to my local record store to pick up Robin Guthrie's new one on Darla ("Carousel") and lo and behold the clerk stocking all the new Tuesday releases holds in his hand a brand new release by David Sylvian, which I wasn't even aware of until today. The cover art on this is gorgeous! Bought it of course with hopes that the true followup to "Secrets of the Beehive" had finally seen the light of day. My biggest fear: that it's the followup to the awful "Blemish", full of atonal glitch noise, little or no melodies, and more avant-weird gloom packed lyrics. Unfortunately, it's the latter: sparse, barely-there music, atonal guitars, Fennesz (again), no atmospheric synths, no drums, disjointed and bizarre lyrics, etc. This album is a bit warmer and a few tracks are quite good (but would've been better with a full band arrangement). I dunno what DS is aiming for with his releases now. I don't think he's going to win many new fans with stuff like this (and possibly he doesn't care one way or the other). It's interesting, it's avant garde, it's different, but is it good? I may grow to love this, who knows. One difference I hear now compared to the "classic" Sylvian is the romantic side to him seems to have been replaced by a kind of bitterness and increasing isolation which manifests in somewhat bizarre, non-sensical lyrics. It's hard to relate to much of the imagery, it is so esoteric and "out there" (or should I say "in there"?) Sometimes I think after his divorce he went a little extreme with the gloomy lyrics and bleak music. With such sparse backing music now, I don't know if the records hold up on the strength of THE VOICE alone, but it seems to take precedence now whereas soundscaping and the MUSIC was the true strength of his earlier solo career. I guess I am still hoping he will snap out of it and get Steve Jansen (playing real drums instead of laptops/programming) and Fripp back in the studio and produce something gorgeous (and more traditional) again. Any opinions on this subject? I apologize for this long-winded post, especially if you hate Sylvian.