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David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees  CD (album) cover


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

3.74 | 83 ratings

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4 stars The opener 'Pulling Punches' is the one and only time Sylvian sounded like Japan. In fact, it's like listening to a continuation of 'Tin Drum' from three years earlier - only, the drums are more acoustic.

Some really tasteful French Horn played by Holger Czuckay and brilliant trumpet on behalf of Jon Hassell really raise this album to something more than it should have been. Sylvian certainly had some good connections.

It's not until Track 2 'Ink in the Well' begins that you'll realise there's no comparison with Japan bar the vocals which maintain that Sylvian dreariness throughout. Not until hearing 'Brilliant Trees' will you come to the conclusion what a huge influence Mick Karn had on Japan.

'Red Guitar' is my personal favourite song on this album and was also the single that charted highest in '84. An off kilter and somewhat askew jazz tune that had no place in any charts.

An unusual album with many tunes and beats that'll leave you scratching your head in bewilderment - none more so than on the excellent 'Backwaters' with its repetitive bass but very odd beat and instrumentation.

The title track sees us out with its beautiful but miserable conclusion. Once again the singing hits some very odd and off key notes which just seem to hit all the right buttons. Hassell, Sakamoto and Czuckay have free reign for the last 4 minutes creating the most beautiful of endings you can imagine. Unlike Japan, 'Brilliant Trees' hasn't dated one iota.

The first of a fantastic trilogy of albums ending with 'Secrets of the Beehive'

Dobermensch | 4/5 |


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