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Blackfield - Blackfield II CD (album) cover




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3.73 | 421 ratings

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4 stars Intelligent Progp

A mix of No-Man and Porcupine Tree, Blackfield are, however, in no way a progressive rock act. They are in fact the producers a very well-put together pop/rock album with extremely inteligent composition and care put into the production. A 10 mid-sized song album formula that works well for anyone willing to hear pop with an alternative yet not adventurous aproach.

1. "Once": a gentle start turning into a rocker in the chorus. Lovely harmonies on the background, with Steven handling the lead vocals.

2. "1,000 People": great electronic keyboard riff, before the entry of the acoustic guitar driving this song. A slight crescendo in the chorus, sounding fantastic, with the orchestral background music. Music ends abrubtly into the next one...

3. "Miss U": ... which starts with guitar and Aviv handling the lead vocals for the first time. The tone is pretty much the same as the previous song, only heavier in the chorus. Plenty vocal effects throughout the tune. A nice guitar solo in the end, accompanied by piano as the song fades out.

4. "Christenings": probably the most Porcupine Tree-sounding song in the album. Features a spacey slide guitar with siding piano, typical Wilson stuff.

5. "This Killer": mostly acoustic track, that doesn't realy stand out from the others, even though it's still a very enjoyable listen.

6. "Epidemic": piano and vocal intro, a darker mood seting in this song. After a first chorus, electronics kicks in. The song gets a bit heavier and fast, but still the same dark feeling to it, mostly because of the vocals, which feature a tiny hint of despair. Electric guitar solo accompanied by vocal harmonies. A rather interesting female backing vocal towards the end.

7. "My Gift of Silence": again the same piano+guitar riff intro. A kind of No-Man tune with a bit more "edge".

8. "Some Day": hum, pretty much the same comment as above, minus the piano. Very mellow and melancholic tune, with a fantastic ending with heavier percussion, guitar and harmonies that fade out.

9. "Where is My Love?": a smaller piece among not very long tracks, with a heavier edge, but also a greater pop feeling to it.

10. "End of the World": drums and a really haunting piano riff opening, this is the song that will probably last longer in your memory after your first experience of the album. Great vocals by both Wilson and Geffen, culminating in the fantastic chorus, which is extremely poppy, but not in any way less gorgeous. The piano drives most of the song, up until the end of the second chorus, when Aviv delivers a stronger vocal performance and the music slightly raises, before fading out.

I've always considered making a good pop/rock album to be harder then a good progressive rock one, and if that realy is the case, then what an effort Aviv and Steven must have put into this! There are some songs stronger than others (Miss U, Christenings, Epidemic and End of the World being my favorites), but not a single weak song. In that matter, it is a better album than it's predecessor.

Now, I was never a sucker for lyrics. Vocals to me are just another part of the instrumentation (and yet I could never get into Magma or Sygur Ros - go figure). However, if you are the type that pays atention to lyrical content, I must warn you that this one is a wrist slasher.

This is definitly a song album, but it sounds very concise and flowy. The general tone is mellow and melancholic, but far from the kind that sends you to sleep. Slight downsises for me are Aviv's accent and the shortness of the album, which realy left me craving for more. It's just one of those things you know its not prog, or even very original, for that matter, but that you just put into your CD player and then have to wait weeks before getting it out. And that,to me, is the mark of good music, be it prog or any other kind.

Kotro | 4/5 |


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