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Top Customer Reviews
Sylvian recorded it in a month off from another project with brother Steve Jansen- it has a raw, improvised quality- & listening to it makes me think of albums like Dongs of Sevotion, I See a Darkness & Mark Hollis. Blemish is extremely intense- though its perfectly suited to a 40-minute playing time (any longer would indeed be mental torture akin to Swans!)As with many artists, Sylvian has formed his own record label- preferring the indie-artistic route to the corporate path- Blemish has been a success on Amazon UK, showing that an album can be a success in an alternate domain to the usual. Sylvian joins a number of artists who have produced albums in their home studios- Mark Eitzel, Paul Westerberg, Tom Waits, Shelley-devoto. The pro-tools/sample/revolutions of Dead Bees on a Cake and the Tweaker collaboration have moved Sylvian away from protracted studio work with an array of top session musicians.
Three of the tracks here are composed with free-jazz guitarist Derek Bailey (Guitars'Drums'N'Bass) & are a challenge to the more casual Sylvian listener- Sylvian has always worked well with avant-garde guitarists (notably Marc Ribot, Robert Fripp, Bill Nelson & Bill Frisell) Earlier minimal acoustic tracks predict this territory: Dobro#1, Boats for Burning, Cries&Whispers.Read more ›
i fall outside of her
and the trouble is
there's no telling just who's right or who's wrong
don't tell me that love is all there is
That's about the tone of it throughout, this is not a happy record. "Blemish" in particular, nearly 14 minutes of electronic noise, distorted guitars, and Sylvian's somewhat rambling vocals, takes a lot to get through. When I first heard it (and indeed this whole record), I found it virtually unlistenable and yet totally engaging. As I got to know the material better, I fell in love with it. There's a brilliant darkness to many of the pieces-- "The Only Daughter", a mournful piece ("smitten no longer / me, the only daughter") with a delicate and chirping background that really grabs your attention, the throbbing "The Heart Knows Better" and "Late Night Shopping", with its melancholy feel, beautiful vocal, and primitive beat (I think the only one on this record) almost sounds like a bunch of punks got ahold of a sampler.Read more ›
To those who were introduced to Sylvian by his "Dead Bees on a Cake" album this will seem like a drastic diversion. In fact, he is right on course pushing boundaries, exploring new themes and respecting his audience by not just rehashing his prior work.
Expect to listen to Blemish many times before you start realizing its beauty. A must for all serious David Sylvian "fans".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just picked up this album and like it a lot. Sylvian is an odd artist, whom I've gotten to appreciate recently. Read morePublished on November 20, 2011 by AndreasG
Ignoring the Derek Bailey nonsense, I see an album that contains some real gems (that is if one were looking for this sort of "prose-ambient" material). Read morePublished on October 1, 2010 by Alex Broom
This is simply incredible; a starkly minimalist suite of songs for voice, guitar, and electronics with a formidable emotional potency. Read morePublished on May 21, 2008 by Piers Moktan
With "approaching silence" this is one of the most bizarre record of Sylvian's career.
You should listen before the decision of buying it... Read more
this is David's best work since leaving Japan, and his early sol efforts were great. But this is one of the top albums of all time, it is perfect. Read morePublished on May 19, 2007 by Crashon Delamuze VonSamboilop
When I first picked this disc up I found it cold and a bit unapproachable. I was only slightly familiar with Derek Bailey at the time. Read morePublished on May 17, 2007 by Chris Landsberg
In my opinion, one would be hard pressed to find much of beauty here, or even of interest... Listen to clips, at least, before spending good money. Read morePublished on January 31, 2007 by Dino Egg
I love a previous reviewer's assessment that this is the angriest quiet album you will encounter. David Sylvian has crafted a masterpiece from personal strife, and demonstrates... Read morePublished on September 7, 2006 by Geoffrey P. Smith