Died In The Wool Double CD
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Top Customer Reviews
Fact: Sylvian is prone to frame this voice with discordant unsettling music.
`Blemish' and `Manafon' were not really for me. Maybe my ear is not discerningly avant garde enough for these productions or maybe, and I prefer to believe this more likely, I simply view these albums as wasteful. Sylvian's voice can melt the hardest of hearts but in competition with a cacophony of sound it cannot shine.
I bought this album because the `Blemish' remix offering produced quite a few gems and I was hoping this might be the case with `Died in the wool'. Alas, not so.
Sylvian's voice is very much to the fore here but the music, free form strings and electronica, is consistently clattering incoherently away in the background. Admittedly, the music is far lower in the mix than the vocals but it is nonetheless a constant distraction and ultimately, for me, makes the album unlistenable.
The simplest way to stress my view is to imagine David Sylvian standing in the kitchen of a busy restaurant singing acapella!
I expect many will dismiss this review because they fall into the avant garde category and see traits in the music that I do not. Fair enough! Let it be known however that I do love the man and the greater body of his work. Though I dislike this album I respect his ongoing efforts to test musical boundaries and I can therefore award no less than 3 stars.
After a few years of enjoying Manafon, I finally took the plunge for Died In The Wool. If you like Manafon, my guess is you'll like this. If you don't, you probably won't like this. It builds upon the first album (even remixing some of the same songs) and then goes further into the forest.
Sometimes I get bored of listening to the same old music (guitar, melody, choruses, etc) and then I like to fire up this album.
With Blemish, he won me back.
Died in the Wool is an album of two halves. One half Manafon remixes, courtesy of Dai Fujikura. These are all very well done. In some places so well done, it's difficult to spot what the changes are - they all just sound so right. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. For my money the best remix, is the boldest - Snow White in Appalachia. The string arrangement is outstanding.
The other half consists of new work. The Manafon reject "Anomaly at Taw Head" - I could live without. The Emily Dickinson tracks (I should Not Dare in particular) are lovely. They suffer a little from constraints of Dickinson's style of writing such short poems. So both tracks have a predictable format, Sylvian singing initially followed by an instrumental section. But this is nit-picking really. The quality of musicianship on display more than makes up for the constraints of the format.
Died in the Wool and The Last Days of December are heartbreakingly beautiful songs and right up there with the best he has ever produced. Lyrically, they are incredibly strong, dark stories. They hint at more well know stories, but give the listener enough space to interpret the words in different ways. Something he has always been good at, but which was maybe lacking in a track like Manafon. Dai Fujikura contributions on both tracks are key and this bodes well for their future work together.
All in all, it is a great album.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
David Sylvian at his very best - an excellent album worth every penny.
The stripped-back music makes the most of the lyrics and vocals
I heard a track from this CD on Radio 3 and loved it and very ill-advisedly rushed to Amazon to download the whole album. Big mistake. Read morePublished on 2 July 2011 by Amazon Customer
Another remix type album that again in most instances improves on the original ideas,the album itself stays well within the mood it sets and demands undivided attention to be... Read morePublished on 27 Jun. 2011 by gaz syd
There a good things and even better things i could say,but i am going
to leave it at that,after reading other reviews on this,anyway i gave it
5 stars so i will let you... Read more
Blemish and then Manafon divided the cult of Sylvian. Those who wanted him to remain their own personal Jesus felt betrayed and those who applauded risk taking, boldness,... Read morePublished on 15 Jun. 2011 by Thomas Jerome Newton
Sylvian has created a masterpiece out of the remnants of his previous release, Manafon. Stark, unique and brooding, this is a stunning album of grandiose proportions destined for... Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2011 by Morgan Yule