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David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees CD (album) cover


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

3.75 | 108 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Sylvian has the merit of having been one of the few artists able to be innovative in the 80s even if this solo debut is still too close to the electro-pop of his band JAPAN, so not exactly my pot.

He sings in a Bowie-style over slap-bass and funky brasses. The lineup is impressive: the newage guru Mark Isham at trumpet, the krautrocker Holger Czukay, Ryouchi Sakamoto, more or less the top of the musical creativity in the 80s.

"Pulling Punches" is a funky track very close to the music of JAPAN. Who knows Richard Wright's "Zee - Identity" will likely find similarities as I do.

"The Ink In The Well" is a fantastic slow song. Melodic enough to be appealing from the first listen but with (more than ) a touch of jazz-club brought by trumpet and fretless bass. A highlight.

"Nostalgia" starts ethnic but is a slow dark and athmospheric song. Great arrangement.

"Red Guitar" is deeply in the 80s, even more than the previous tracks. The nice thing is that I can't hear any guitar. The instrumental riff is played by bass and piano. The good of this track is for me the fact that if you don't pay attention to the Bowie-like vocals, it's verysimilar in the sounds to Rick Wright's "Strange Rhythm" from ZEE. That album has a very low rating but I like it, sorry for repeating.

"Weathered Wall" has a more jazzy flavor. It's still very electronic but Mark Isham makes the difference with his trumpet. This is the album's highlight. A repetitive rhythm that makes the song rhythmless, unusual chords progression in a chill-out mood. Relax and enjoy.

"Backwaters" is similar, but the bass pitch of the vocals makes it a little darker. The trumpet in the background should be from Jon Hassell here. Another very good track.

The closer and title track is excatly how it should be. No drums. Ambient keyboard's background, very jazzy with the dark bass voice of David Sylvian making an excellent work. In a periond during which I was going onto newage because of the general poorness of the musical scene this album has been one of the few valuable exceptions.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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