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


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

3.25 | 55 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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