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David SylvianAudio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $12.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2009 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, 2009 $29.93  
Audio CD, 2009 $12.94  
Vinyl, Limited Edition --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Small Metal Gods 5:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Rabbit Skinner 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Random Acts Of Senseless Violence 7:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Greatest Living Englishman10:55Album Only
listen  5. 125 Spheres0:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Snow White in Appalachia 6:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Emily Dickinson 6:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Department Of Dead Letters 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Manafon 5:22$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's David Sylvian Store


Image of album by David Sylvian


Image of David Sylvian


The David Sylvian that fronted new wave pop band Japan wore luminescent hair and glam make-up; on the cover of his solo debut, 1984's Brilliant Trees, he was stylish and refined, a gentleman popster. But the illustration that introduces 2003's Blemish sends a different message: he's bedraggled and unshaven, his far-off expression turned haunted. The new millennium has seen a more ... Read more in Amazon's David Sylvian Store

Visit Amazon's David Sylvian Store
for 48 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Manafon + Blemish + Dead Bees On A Cake
Price for all three: $39.50

Buy the selected items together
  • Blemish $14.58
  • Dead Bees On A Cake $11.98

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 15, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B002GJ3OAG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,925 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2009 album from the acclaimed British vocalist and former member of Japan. David Sylvian is a man apart. In a thirty-year career that spans the New Romantic movement, ambient works and Progressive Rock, and mature and esoteric Pop, Sylvian has tested popular styles and bent them to his own vision. On Manafon, Sylvian pursues "a completely modern kind of chamber music. Intimate, dynamic, emotive, democratic, economical." In sessions in London, Vienna, and Tokyo, Sylvian assembled the world's leading improvisers and innovators, artists who explore free improvisation, space-specific performance, and live electronics. From Evan Parker and Keith Rowe, to Fennesz and members of Polwechsel, to Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide, the musicians provide both a backdrop and a counterweight to his own vocal performances.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I'm sure there will be more opinions in the negative with David Sylvian's new album " Manfon ". This is definitely not for every Sylvian fan . If you want David's melancholic lilting ballads, you've got " Secrets of the Beehive " or " Gone To Earth ". If you want glam, you've got Japan's " Obscure Alternative " and " Adolescent Sex ". If you want perfectly manicure pop, you've got " Tin Drum " and " Gentlemen take Polaroids ". But if you want an artist such as David Sylvian to mature and find new ways to keep themselves've got " Blemish " and now " Manafon ". If I may make a comparison to Miles Davis, a man who searched and strove towards forging new ways of expression, new ways of rebellion, and at times wrestled with his artistic and personal demons. He continually struggled with himself and the public to make new music almost everytime. This artist NEVER stood still, and I'm sure lost and found listeners along the way. And in this day and age where music is manufactured in little plastic cases, all looking and sounding the same, safe as houses....with pop singers too afraid to say how they really feel ( or if they have anything to say at all ). Well I'm happy knowing that David Sylvian is in charge of his own creativity and is not afraid to show what he is feeling and communicating at this given time. At no point did I find this album a " smooth ride down the Nile on a hot summer's day ". Rather I was shocked in the same way it's sister album " Blemish " did a few years back. But with repeated listenings, I found a way to understand and appreciate the work. Music can either be a part of your furniture ( no real listening required ) or it can grab you attention forcing you to listen to it in different way. Manafon does this. So if you are up for charting unfamiliar waters, this album is for you. If not 1978's " Sometime's I feel so Low " beckons you !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly dissapointing work by David Sylvian October 13, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There is no doubt that David Sylvian is one of the most creative musicians since the late nineties. His new album, "Manafon" bears out his rich imagination and daring pursuit of original experimentation. This time though his effort has not worked as expected. In spite of the huge talent of the musicians accompanying him, one does not get to feel that they do their best to deliver a good performance, and it seems that "improvising" turns out to be a license to make nonsense noise. No matter the content of Sylvian's lyrics, it does not seem that they cohere with the sounds created for the occasion. Hence my three stars, an expression of my mild dissapointment, something very unusual on my part when I engage Sylvian's works.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Growth of Challenge September 15, 2009
By D. Cox
Format:Audio CD
This is incredibly beautiful.

Easy? Not on your life.

Challenging? Yes.

... but beautiful none the less.

For over 25 years I have hoped each time to hear something new--that I was not going to get anywhere else. It made me expect less and grow more.

Mark Hollis taught me long ago about the Importance of the silence between the notes.

David Sylvian has made a piece of art. You do not have to look it for it to be art. Because art is art regardless of the perceptions of those who view it.

There is maturity here. Creativity abounds. Sounds such as these do not fall out of a random sky. They are placed one after the other--years in the making--every note deliberate.

Sure--I love his pop. But I also love his ambience, his minimalism, his brush with all its strokes.

This only requires one be open to an experience of art. Because the only thing he has truly ever delivered is something that sounds like no other.

Beautiful more in all it's empty spaces.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ORPHEUS MADE MANIFOLD September 26, 2009
Format:Audio CD
It's well established that human beings are pattern-loving creatures, even able to convince themselves that they find patterns in instances where patterns emphatically do not occur (constellations, easy; this music, no need). As many of the negative reviews here attest, the utter absence of traditional musical patterns can prove quite disorienting -- even disconcerting -- for many, especially when the listener's purpose is simply reduced to one of fulfilling his or her pre-existing, subjectively preferential expectations. And, given how predictable and familiar most music already is, driven as it is into formulaic, narrow stylistic genres with the sole purpose of guaranteeing the commercial acceptance of artificially described and descried niche audiences, the time to move on surely arrived a while ago. After all, there are now some countless millions of readily recognizable songs and recordings available, meaning that Sylvian poses absolutely no threat to conventional music-making. Though he does offer much more promise.

With "Manafon", Sylvian takes many more steps into the directions set by immersions in sound and improvisation mapped out by "Blemish" and "Naoshima". His recent collaboration on "Cartography " by Arve Henriksen includes a few pieces that revealed some of these techniques within more conventional musical settings. But "Manafon" goes on to more radical ends, with a heritage that must acknowledge the highly staged "Orpheus, The Lowdown" by Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge and the remarkable body of work assembled by Bryan Day and his "Shelf Life", "Eloine" and other improvising units.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars manafon = hot trash
its almost unbelievable how far David has fallen into this dirge ridden despair. Hopefully this is where he bottoms out. I look forward to a return to form. Get happy David.
Published 13 months ago by Two AM
1.0 out of 5 stars What is this?
I own every album David Sylvian has released from Brilliant Trees onward. I bought "When Loud Weather Buffetted Nooshima" without listening to it because I was sure I would like... Read more
Published on September 20, 2012 by Evan from Australia
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy tunes reward the openminded listener
It's been three years since Sylvian released the brooding "Manafon". Has it matured with age? Has it rewarded the listener who bravely set upon its path and stayed on to see where... Read more
Published on February 14, 2012 by DM
1.0 out of 5 stars Stuck in a Musical Eddy
This could probably be a double review of both Manafon and Blemish. Oddly, there's more to like on Died in the Wool as it has a denser, richer musical presentation. Read more
Published on July 4, 2011 by Chris Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius soundscapes, challenging, beautiful, harsh
I am a huge fan of the avant garde, so when I hear this album it seems unrelentingly melodic to me... Read more
Published on March 29, 2011 by Storylover
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this an album or a compilation?
It sounds to me like David Sylvian has assembled a bunch of those nearly a capella interlude numbers that are on various albums. Read more
Published on March 1, 2011 by R. L. MILLER
1.0 out of 5 stars Egocentric Drivel
What's more difficult to swallow than this album is how seriously these guys take themselves. Alas, I am a completionist and purchased the deluxe edition for this album. Read more
Published on October 1, 2010 by Alex Broom
1.0 out of 5 stars You Should Be Embarrased
It sad to see the low state that David Sylvain has fallen into. On every level its a very unprofessional effort. Read more
Published on September 30, 2010 by TDN
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the Year!
After 10 or so listens I really feel as though this is Sylvians best record to date. I have been kind of lukewarm about much of his output since Brilliant Trees, but this is a... Read more
Published on May 25, 2010 by great horse
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me.....but not trash or pathetic
While I'm only giving this CD two stars, I find myself agreeing with the folks who reacted negatively to the reviews that called this album pathetic, unlistenable, etc. Read more
Published on February 16, 2010 by hiro n.
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