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


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

4.14 | 201 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars The jazzy piano and the very warm voice of David Sylvian open the album. "September" sounds like a night club in NewYork (or the idea that I have of that, never been there). It's few more than 1 minute but it's enough to understand that this is a very good album.

"The Boy With The Gun" persists in the same atmosphere. The jazzy impressions come from the contrabass. The period is clearly identifiable: a song from the 80s with some connections with the more artsy side of bands of that period, JAPAN included.

"Maria" is sung with baritonal voice. It's quite dark and it reminds me to Richard Wright's ZEE. Sad and atmospheric. Personally I like it a lot.

Time for major chords: "Orpheus" is made of an incredibly good sequence of non-trivial passages. The pause of silence before the instrumental section makes you wishing more, and it arrives immediately after. There's some genius in this song. It ends with 3 quick chords totally unexpected.

"The Devil's Own" proceeds with 3 minutes of mainly piano and voice. Tere's no longer a night club. This is something different, but the Howe-like guitar starts the following track. In the 80s I've paid some attention to Suzanne VEGA. Call me mad, but I think that not only this song has similarities with some of her more intimate songs, even if I don't think she has never added an instrumental part of spanish guitar in songs of this kind like the excellent "When Poets Dream Of Angels".

Contrabass, piano and jazzy atmospheres are back with "Mother and Child". One of the best album's tracks. "Let The Happines In" starts with brass and the contribution of Mark ISHAM's trumpet is huge. This is even better than the previous one. Mainly based on two chords it could remind to David BOWIE.

"Waterfront" remains on the same soundscape as before. On this track, the similarities with ZEE are evident. Of course I don't think Sylvia has taken inspiration from that album, even if I consider it underrated. This is an album from the late 80s and what Wright did in 1984 was just a shy attempt to renew his offering.

The first release of the album end here. But my Japanese reissue has the two bonus tracks below:

"Forbidden Colours" is very famous. The theme was used as movie soundtrack and was actually a big hit. Very few to say about this song: It's impossible that anybody hasn't listened to it before. Thanks to Ryuichi SAKAMOTO.

It's time to close the album. The last about three minutes are entertained by "Promise". Classical guitar and warm voice. Also this song could feature on a movie soundtrack (if it effectively hasn't, I don't know). A bit too "sweet" compared to the rest of the album, so the organ at the end brings some sadness back.

Listen to it by night, on a sofa, with a drink.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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