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David Sylvian - Secrets Of The Beehive  CD (album) cover

SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE

David Sylvian

 

Crossover Prog

4.16 | 128 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Three years after the very promising debut Brilliant Trees, Sylvian delivers his 4th full-length album, trying to reveal the Secrets of the Beehive. In this effort, he has the assistance of a number of talented musicians and most of all Ryuichi Sakamoto, who is responsible for most of the album's string arrangements.

Compared to his debut (my only reference point), there are a number of small changes in Sylvian's songwriting that shift the album a level up. The melodies sound very mature and carefully worked. Acoustic guitars play the dominant role and are executed beautifully, while the characteristic ambient/avant-garde atmosphere is still the main element of his sound. To this latter feature, the critical point is the use of synths and organ arrangements. The warm voice of Sylvian clearly adds to the character and quality of the album - a quite unique voice that does not easily compare with other artists.

The electro, funk and synth-pop influences are almost wiped out from this album, and have been replaced by more ''optimistic'' ambient moods. In a not-so-dark version of an overall ''a-la Dead Can Dance'' atmosphere, Sylvian blends jazz, avant-garde and Floyd-like elements to create a purely nostalgic album. Even if there is a constant very slow tempo throughout the music, the album does not bore the listener, as it flows like a well-worked soundtrack. The short duration works for the benefit of the album. The demanding prog fan might be disappointed by the absence of complex arrangements, but will be rewarded with warm melodies.

The trinity of Orpheus, The Devil's Own and When Poets Dreamed of Angels forms my favourite part in an album where there are no weak moments and which deserves at least 4 stars (subject to change with a shift higher...).

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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