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Manafon

30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 15, 2009
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Manafon + Died in the Wool + Blemish
Price for all three: $47.60

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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.

1. Small Metal Gods
2. The Rabbit Skinner
3. Random Acts Of Senseless Violence
4. The Greatest Living Englishman
5. 125 Spheres
6. Snow White In Appalachia
7. Emily Dickinson
8. The Department Of Dead Letters
9. Manafon

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 15, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SAMADHI SOUND UK
  • ASIN: B002GJ3OAG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cartwright on September 17, 2009
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 true....you'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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Murphy on July 4, 2011
Format: Audio CD
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. Both albums are essentially spoken prose poetry over post-modern instrumental interludes. It was very reminiscent of Rain Tree Crow without the wonderfully crafted melodies and rhythms. Too often Mr. Sylvian relies on the double-tracked, overlaid vocals of all his past work. Instead of adding beauty and texture to the pieces, they seem cliched and unnecessary. And I am really tired of his lyrics being laden with the pronoun "she" - it's a subject matter that he's used so much in the past. I've tried to keep up with Mr. Sylvian and his progressive works, but these albums are just self-indulgent to me. Time for him to break free of this musical eddy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jose Artiles-Gil on 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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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Steve Lyles on September 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have just listened to Manafon the 5.1 version for the 4th time today and find the whole thing mesmerizing....incredibly poetic....its quite brutally beautiful.This sort of Artistic expression brings up the subject of Artist producing his/her vision without any regard for audience expectations.....its up to the listener to keep up or adapt...not for the Artist to produce what the audience expects etc.....most definitely challenging but highly compelling
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alex Broom on October 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
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. What I got for my $70 was a couple of pictures and a 55 minute video of "intellects" pontificating about how important their services are to the musical community. Indeed my tastes are eclectic and my tolerance for the avante-garde greater than most, but for those of you who do not suffer from the "completionist gene" take some advice from someone who collects music, the effort put forth by these pimp artists is pathetic. Throughout the piece pompous grating is substituted for constructive ideas and esoteric dirge for thoughtful lyrics. Perhaps the ultimate insult comes in the form of David Sylvian's insistence to slap his name over this work when he himself claims the extent of his contribution was hash lyrics and vinyl static. But then again, he's probably doing his "collaborators" a favor.

Best Quotes (From Previous Reviews):

"it seems that "improvising" turns out to be a license to make nonsense noise" [Jose Artiles-Gil]

"just monotonous nasal ramblings over the sound of a hair dryer while a bassist tunes up" [James F. Mcdermott]

"quiet tracks are layered with pops and glitches and scratches - thus preventing the music from inhabiting its own space; This curtain of interference between the listener and the artist is, for me, off-putting" [Robert Carlberg] - and to think this album is offered in a $40 vinyl edition
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