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David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive CD (album) cover


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

4.13 | 191 ratings

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5 stars It is a testament to the personal nature of music that an album can be simultaneously regarded as somnolent drudgery and introspective genius, depending on who listens to it and even how and when they do so. "Secrets of the Beehive" is a case in point, but ultimately its ability to externalize and give voice to one's most deeply hidden feelings makes it a far greater awakening experience than any Black Sabbath album. Moreover, while any given piece here might be considered an odd bit of filler on a convention collection of songs, here it is the accumulated effect of the spiritual shift over the course of 45 minutes that is to be cherished.

Sylvian's lyrics and voice are poetic and soul bearing, like the voice in your head, but with subtly revealing musical inflections, while the sparse musical accompaniment provides just enough for any listener with patience to connect the dots. In particular, guitarist Danny Torn and wind player Mark Isham both play perfect foil to Sylvian's muses, completing the journey that began with "Brilliant Trees". While everything here flows naturally and genuinely, the standouts are the wondrous "Orpheus", "When the Poets Dreamed of Angels", "Let the Happiness In", and the bonus track "Forbidden Colours".

That we are all alone in more ways than not is perhaps one secret of the beehive both unnerving and comforting. This is a desert island disk with the ability to maintain sanity even in lengthy if not eternal solitude.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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