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David Sylvian - Damage - Live (with Robert Fripp) CD (album) cover


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

4.13 | 64 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is a very gifted and fruitful combination of musicians and there is one firm, unfaltering fact, Robert Fripp can spot talent and fine musical chemistry a light year away. Fripp is always at the top of his form; his playing is impossible to mistake. Trey Gunn is so solid in his performance on the stick; together with Pat Mastelotto's incredible percussion, the whole musical experience has a powerful and rich rhythm and bass foundation, and a whole lot more. Michael Brook, the father of one of the incarnations of the infinite guitar plays like he was born with it in his arms. David Sylvian's performance is just an unqualified great!

This is undoubtedly a solid progressive rock masterpiece. The lyric style of David Sylvian is in no way trite or aimless. Admittedly, it's not a fast turn-on for most; more like an acquired taste. But once you're hooked, that's it; much as single malt Scotch whiskey and many of the other finer things. Since the lyrics are likely to be a lightening rod for controversy, it's worth briefly exploring the question: What are good lyrics? I can't really say, but I know'em when I hear'em. Nevertheless, it can be said that some songs can stand on their own as poetry; they provoke thoughts and emotion in unique and moving ways. Ballads tell stories that are easy to relate to by virtue of the immediacy or direct manner in which they can be interpreted. Others are more abstract, but not automatically of less value. Examples are word associations, like Crimson's ".ice cream, cigarettes, Brylcreem, Cadillac.", and word chains like " floor wax museum."; even repetition of the same phrase or words or with different vocal inflections can form impressions that evoke emotional responses. On the whole, a song is greater than the sum of the prose, music, and performance. Judging lyrics isolated from the other two would definitely be a mistake.

David Sylvian is a special vocalist and writer. His words are impressionistic yet descriptive, specific about feelings and yet somewhat obscured. This collection of lyrics should be looked upon as nothing less than phrased as a dream that's hard to wake from. His singing style is distinctive; with a strong use of vibrato, it could be said to be his trade mark. Like a seed from the distant past that survived a long trip through time, then planted among this fertile musical talent, germinated here in the present. Sylvian's style is neither dark, nor cheerful and bright. It is in control, mellow, but naked and raw. It's a perfect fit to the ambiance of Damage, created by a uniquely stellar group of musicians. It's been said that Damage brings forth reminiscences of King Crimson, and why shouldn't it. This is a stunningly remarkable musical treat. One should note that this a live recording, but the enthusiasm of the remarkably well-behaved audience only confirms the opening statement and in no-way distracts from the performance. - so says God's Monkey. Dig it!

convocation | 5/5 |


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