David Sylvian - Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities  CD (album) cover


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

3.17 | 36 ratings

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2 stars Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities is the second solo studio album from former Japan frontman David Sylvian. David Sylvian´s debut studio album Brilliant Trees (1984) was a good album that sounded a lot like the last couple of Japan albums but with a world music influence. The music on Brilliant Trees was centered around David´s warm and deeply emotional vocal style. Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities is not the natural follow up from David Sylvian and I have to say that I´m a bit impressed with David´s boldness when you think about how early in his solo career he released Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities. The album is of a much more experimental character than his more safe debut album but not neccessarely better.

The first thing you notice when listening to Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities is the total lack of vocals with the exception of a few samples and background chants. David Sylvian´s warm and beautiful vocals does not appear at any time during the 48:41 minutes the album lasts. So this is an almost totally instrumental album. The music is generally very ambient and repetitive. Easy listening jazzy with lots of synth and flugelhorn ( or trumpet, I´m not a brass expert). Very few of the songs stand out as being different in style from the rest and I would mention The Stigma of Childhood and especially the slightly avant garde A Brief Conversation Ending in Divorce as the most interesting songs for me. The 18:58 minute long Steel Cathedrals overstays its welcome by several minutes IMO.

The musicianship is excellent and the production is warm and pleasant.

The total lack of David´s vocals does mean that I´m not that interested in this album. The music is simply too ambient and repetitive for me to enjoy without the addition of vocals. I´d say Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities is for the most adventourous fans of David Sylvian and not for those of us who mostly enjoy his music because of his voice. A 2 star rating is fair seen from my view.

UMUR | 2/5 |


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