Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blackfield - - Blackfield

A fantastic yet overlooked treasure, a work brimming with texture but listenable to anyone's taste, Blackfield's self-titled debut is an amazing album that really deserves all the attention it can get. It's the project of Steven Wilson (the mastermind behind No-Man and Porcupine Tree) and Aviv Geffen, who's apparently had a successful if controversial pop career in Israel. Count one for the "can anyone tell me why this isn't huge" file. You need this album. Wilson's singing is much more prominent, but AG handles half the writing/instrument duties, even if his voice is mostly the backing one. The sound is basically melancholy pop (for lack of an appropriate label), but wonderfully layered and textured and impeccably produced, topped off with gorgeous harmonies and writing a lot more thoughtful than you'd find in the pop world at large. And that's not to mention the writing in the melody department, which is almost otherworldly. There's a dreamlike quality to a lot of the album, from "Glow"'s soft bed of keyboards to "Lullaby"'s simple haunting piano line (which would almost actually make it a good lullaby if it wasn't done in a minor key with some very non-soothing lyrics). "Scars" shuffles along on a lively beat and shifts into a grand sweeping chorus, but it doesn't even seem out of place. Some heavy moments come and go but they never interfere with the lushness of the experience. The consistently depressing tone is really the only reason I haven't glued one of the CD trays on my stereo shut with this disc in it... yet.
Where Wilson on his own can take seven or eight or thirteen minutes to say something, Geffen's taste for brevity keeps everything here comfortably below five. Unfortunately that means the album itself tops off at around 43 including the 'new' bonus tracks, but there isn't a wasted second to be heard. "Where Is My Love?" was left off the original edition because they thought it didn't quite fit with the Blackfield sound - why they thought that, I can't imagine - and the mesmerizing "Perfect World" was apparently cut at the last minute. If you need this album (and you do), then you also need those tracks to complete the picture. Thankfully that mistake's been fixed by their inclusion here along with a live "Cloudy Now." Did I mention you need this album? You do. Your life will forever be just a tad incomplete without it. Blackfield is a collaboration between Israeli singer songwriter Aviv Geffen and British musician and producer Steven Wilson (also of Porcupine Tree).

.. open mind
.. blackfield
.. glow
.. scars
.. lullaby
.. pain
.. summer
.. cloudy now
.. the hole in me
.. hello
.. dark walk

.. Year: 2005
.. Label: Koch Records
.. Country: London/Tel Aviv/U.K.
.. Bitrate: 192 kbps
.. Home-Page:
.. MySpace:
BUY ME: Amazon
.. BUY ME: n/a

pass - hmbreed ]]]

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