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Blackfield - Welcome to My DNA CD (album) cover




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3.39 | 269 ratings

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3 stars Blackfield's 3rd album 'Welcome to My DNA' finally starts to see Steven Wilson step back and let Aviv Geffen take charge. Wilson promised that Geffen would be taking charge of the band eventually, plus Wilson was also busy working on his solo albums. In this album, Wilson only wrote one track, 'Waving'. All of the others are written by Geffen only or with some help from Wilson. Geffen is also singing more of the songs on this one, with Wilson only singing lead on only 5 of the 11 tracks, though he does help on backup. Of course, Wilson continues to add guitar parts and is in charge of production. Wilson would also continue to step back even further on subsequent albums.

Right away, the music is not as well developed as on the past two albums. The tracks continue to be short, with the longest one, 'Zigota' being the only one that reaches the 5 minute mark, and most of the tracks staying around 3 to 4 minutes. The tracks are nice and lush, reminding one of the orchestrations of The Beatles and even Pink Floyd from time to time, but the tracks suffer overall from the brevity. Just as the songs seem to be going somewhere, they end. They also suffer from the lesser involvement of Wilson, who is the stronger songwriter and musician.

A few of the songs, like 'Go to Hell' and 'Oxygen', are embarrassingly bad when it comes to lyrical content and inventiveness in the musicianship. The point of the band was for Geffen to improve as he took more involvement in the band, but he hasn't been improving and now the added responsibility seems to be drowning him. Now, the album isn't a complete write off. Of course, 'Waving' is one of the strongest tracks on here, and sounds like just like a track Steven Wilson would do, except for maybe a little poppy, but still enjoyable. Geffen does almost hit the mark on 'Dissolving with the Night', especially when the song starts to pick up some tension in the middle and into the ending. 'Blood' is mostly instrumental except for a few vocal interludes and it is more aggressive than most of the rest of the album and is a nice change of pace.

The aim was to keep things majestic, yet simple. Things are majestic enough especially because of the orchestration, but they are also simple, much too simple. The music doesn't really challenge at all, and just seems to lack development. The beauty and darkness from the previous 2 albums is missed very much. Geffen's attempt at the same darkness is usually laughable on this album.

Overall, the minuses are much more apparent than the few pluses. Wilson's lesser involvement is felt on this album, and with only a few nice songs and sections, the album doesn't really reach the pinnacle of the last two albums. It squeaks by with 3 stars, but only because of the nice string arrangements and the excellent production. The songs for the most part, however, lack substance.

TCat | 3/5 |


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