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Died In The Wool Double CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B004UA8OQ8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,796 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Small Metal Gods
  2. Died In The Wool
  3. I Should Not Dare
  4. Random Acts Of Senseless Violence
  5. A Certain Slant Of Light
  6. Anomaly At Taw Head
  7. Snow White In Appalachia
  8. Emily Dickinson
  9. The Greatest Living Englishman (coda)
  10. Anomaly At Taw Head (A Haunting)
  11. Manafon
  12. The Last Days of December

Disc: 2

  1. When We Return You Won't Recognise Us

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Fact: David Sylvian has the most beautiful voice in popular music
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.
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Format: Audio CD
IMO Manafon is like a beautiful sculpture that's been smashed to bits and left in fragments on the floor. At first it appears like an incoherent mess but as you pick among the shards you suddenly begin to discern that something of remarkable beauty has been created - in some places just a collection of intriguing elements, in others alien and yet oddly coherent patterns. For the most part, Manafon is a challenging listen, but I think definitely worth the effort. It's sparse, a bit dark and sometimes austere but for me, there's also a feeling of richness and joy, or perhaps it's simply the exhilaration of stepping into a world that we don't often get to experience. Died in the Wool, as a kind of companion piece to Manafon, opens up different avenues to explore within the Manafon world, here we see/hear more detail, a little bit more colour, a little bit more depth and texture that Manafon left obscured in shadows and silence. To my ears Died in the Wool is a more accessible starting point, it offers a bit more in the way of conventional musical form (useful if, like me, you're not really an aficionado of free improvision) 'I Should not Dare' is especially lovely.
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I bought Manafon even though it had mixed reviews, and loved it. Admittedly one needs to be in the right mood to enjoy the album, unlike 'Secrets of the beehive' or similar that I could listen to at any time.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
It's heartening to see an artist so far into his career, still capable of polarising the listening public with new work. Had Sylvian continued to bang out joyless copies of Secrets of the Beehive, as many seem to wish, he would have become an irrelevant caricature long ago. Instead, he has consistently reinvented himself, with each new album offering a surprise. Each time, he loses some fans and gains some new ones. This album is no different. In fact it's quite funny to see people say "Well, I liked Manafon but this is just a step too far!" Fujikura's strings are sublime: they bob and weave, bringing drama and movement where Manafon was trapped in deathly stasis. Harmonically (though not rhythmically) reminiscent of Steve Reich at times, they underpin Sylvian's vocals, adding a rich tonality to these variations not found on the original. The result is a highly rewarding listen. The two Emily Dickinson poems are beautiful, too, but different to the Fujikura material and seem to want to belong to another collection. And that's my only quibble with this record. I wish it was all just Sylvian singing over Fujikura's strings. Of course, that would complete his epic, career-long journey from pop to contemporary concert music. Should he dare? Is a self-confessed "non-musician" allowed to occupy that rarefied territory? The two Dickinson poems -- with their pleasing Nick Drake melancholia, strummed guitar and familiar atmospherics courtesy of Bang, Honoré and Henriksen -- suggest he's hesitating on the brink, just in case there's no way back.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the most creative and thought provoking works that i believe David Sylvian has made. It takes the listener across landscapes of mountainous wood, cold terrain and back. The sounds generated are beautiful and memorable, as are the lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
David Sylvian's career has been characterised by constant change - occasionally punctuated by a sudden sharp jolt (think Obscure Alternatives to Quiet Life or Tin Drum to Brilliant Trees). I'm sure he lost and gained fans at every turn. He lost me around the Robert Fripp/Dead Bees on a Cake era.
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.
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