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David Sylvian - Gone To Earth CD (album) cover


David Sylvian


Crossover Prog

3.75 | 109 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Do my ears deceive me or is that the mighty Mick Karn on bass in the opener? Even the sleeve notes don't help... In my opinion he was the best wobbly bass player of all time, better than Pastorius and Pekka Pohjola, even though Mick plagiarised them both.

"Gone to Earth" sounds more experimental than 'Brilliant Trees' and is a far, far heavier album to listen to. After the pretty, but weird 'Laughter and Forgetting' which focuses on Sylvian's off key voice and a discordant piano everything collapses into a black hole in space... Starting with the miserable, but superb "Before the Bullfight' - all 10 minutes of it! - with it's heavy reverb and booming slow echoed drums - which sounds like the end of the world. This quickly splices to the highly unusual title track which has a tune sung by Sylvian where every musical note seems all over the place, random and is undercut by a truly mental growly Robert Fripp guitar.

Only recently have I come to realise that this is actually a very Prog album, something that had never struck me before with any of Sylvian's works.

'Wave' continues with the gloominess of the preceding tracks but once again has some superb drumming by his brother Steve Jansen. Flatline depressing vocals are accentuated with the inclusion of Fripp and his weird bendy springy sounds that sound nothing like the guitar he is playing. Fantastic!

The highlight has to be be 'Riverman' - almost a remnant of Japan's 'Sons of Pioneers' - the best track on 'Tin Drum' from '81. Bass heavy and slick, with a double vocal track by Sylvian and some Fripp tweakery in the background.

There's such an array of unusual tunes on this album that you won't be aware of until afterwards (like me 25 years later) where you think to yourself 'where the hell did those odd, weird out of place notes come from, and why do they fit?'

The only let down is 'Silver Moon' which by itself would have been okay, but is lost in a sea of magnificence... drowned out by continual beauty from beginning to end,

The second half of 'Gone to Earth' is instrumental with Fripp, Sylvian and Bill Nelson at the helm. Some of which is just utterly beautiful: 'Answered Prayers' and; Wooden Cross' to name but two. These last 40 minute sound like being stuck on a desert island with no means of escape, where you just say to yourself... 'Bugger'

Sometimes words can't do justice to an album of such perfection.

Dobermensch | 5/5 |


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