Top critical review
"Projections on Falling Masonry"
on 12 May 2016
This sixty-five-minute CD, released in 2010, is a compilation of work done since the millennium, many of collaborations that appeared originally on CDs by other artists. This CD also includes four pieces that had previously been unreleased. In all tracks Sylvian has written the music, the lyrics, or both.
Each of the sixteen tracks last between three and six minutes. Overall, the set is a disappointment, perhaps because they have not often been produced by Sylvian. Yet there are a few gems, mostly those where the work has been with old collaborators such as Steve Jansen, Ryuichi Sakamoto, or with Christian Fennesz. Three of the tracks come from the ‘Nine Horses’ album.
There are no five-star tracks here; and there are more three-star tracks than merit four. The best of the set is ‘World Citizen – I Won’t Be Disappointed’, with Sakamoto. It’s a shame it does not develop beyond its six minutes. Also good is ‘Transit’ (with Fennesz), which is haunting and reminded me of the work Sylvian did with Holger Czukay.
As well as the Czukay style, other tracks vary from the dislocated ballad that is ‘Sleepwalkers’, to the string quartet that plays ‘Five Lines’, to the narrated (i.e. not sung) ‘Thermal’ and ‘Angels’ (“High in the architecture, something’s moving … projections on falling masonry”). So there is much contrast between the tracks, and the listener is sure therefore to find something they like.
However, in general there is a lack of inspiring melodies or vocalisations, and there is much on this CD that is … well, just bland.