Customer Reviews


42 Reviews
5 star:
 (28)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A duo of unparalleled talent makes their key breakthrough
Although they released their self-titled debut album in 1984, it was 1986's SPLEEN AND IDEAL which brought Dead Can Dance, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, into their distinctive style. The debut consisted of guitar-heavy 80s-mood pieces, but in SPLEEN AND IDEAL Lisa and Brendan make their first experiment in classical structures and unique songs.
The album...
Published on February 23, 2001 by Christopher Culver

versus
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great and transformative work (i put 2 stars merely, so the people reading the previous 2 star reviews would see this)
let me say that the other two 2-star reviews, while valid in their own right do not represent their opinion in a way i find to be helpful. They mention Spiritchaser and Aion as the "go-to" albums. while bnoth are great, i cannot accept that as a reasonable deduction here. I'm a long time fan of DCD and have devoured everything they've done.

i think a more...
Published on October 2, 2009 by Jonathan T. Scarpelli


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A duo of unparalleled talent makes their key breakthrough, February 23, 2001
By 
Christopher Culver (Cluj-Napoca, Romania or Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
Although they released their self-titled debut album in 1984, it was 1986's SPLEEN AND IDEAL which brought Dead Can Dance, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, into their distinctive style. The debut consisted of guitar-heavy 80s-mood pieces, but in SPLEEN AND IDEAL Lisa and Brendan make their first experiment in classical structures and unique songs.
The album opens with three songs centered around Lisa's voice over orchestral instruments, "De Profundis," "Ascension," and "Circumradiant Dawn." Then, Brendan Perry provides the first of his deeply philosophical songs in "The Cardinal Sin." The fifth track, "Mesmerism," features the last English lyrics Lisa ever sang with Dead Can Dance with her yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer) accompaniment over a drum machine. "Enigma of the Absolute" is perhaps Perry's most lyrically perfect song. "Advent" is another Perry track, that features the most rock-like structure on the album. "Avatar" is Lisa's final contribution to the album, an Oriental trip through drums and yangqin that climaxes with a frenzy of Lisa's glossolalia. Finally, the album closes with "Indoctrination," which sums up well Perry's world-view during the early part of Dead Can Dance's career.
SPLEEN AND IDEAL is another one of the few albums that I own which is so consistent that I cannot name a bad track. It is one of Dead Can Dance's finest efforts, and definitely should be one of the first albums you pick up by this superbly talented duo.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark dreams of disquiet and wonder, June 20, 2005
By 
Chet Fakir (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
Spleen and Ideal was the first DCD album I purchased, on cassette no less. And though I have have most of their recorded output this one, perhaps for sentimental purposes, perhaps not, is still my favorite. The spareness of the instrumentation, the wonderful world weary vocals of Brendan Perry and the strange almost Bulgarian womens choir like vocals of Lisa Gerard combine to make one of the most beautiful and atmospheric albums of the '80s. Exotic in all the right ways, it does what music should do: it takes me out of myself and presents new possibilities I never would have thought of on my own. Beautiful, elegiac and wonderous.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious and majestic, February 10, 2001
By 
Ken (Youngsville, LA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
Their debut (which I still love just as much as their others) might have been the record where DCD were given the "gothic" tag with its minimal hunger and its mysterious tribal tendencies, but "Spleen & Ideal" was where DCD became orchestrated, lush... majestic. The word "ethereal" has been around for ages, but it seems custom-fit to describe the Dead Can Dance sound, especially beginning with what they were accomplishing from this LP onward. Mysterious and subtle keyboard-laden passages, laced with Lisa Gerrard's stream-of-consciousness vocals, are juxtaposed with Brendan Perry's confidant, unwavering, and powerful voice on the other, typically orchestrated and brass-and-string driven tracks. I think this was the LP that showed Dead Can Dance's transformation from the primitive to the worldly and sophisticated - a metamorphosis they recreated with every release afterwards.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, deep music for the ultra-patient, September 7, 2008
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
Often acclaimed as their best album, 1985's "Spleen and Ideal" (the title coming from Charles Baudelaire) saw Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry develop one of the most enchanting and unique sounds ever to be put before the modern music world.

Though there are traces of the drum machines found on their debut, otherwise the instrumentation of "Spleen and Ideal" is entirely acoustic and horns have a prominent part, so much so that often "Spleen and Ideal" reminds one of funk slowed down to 10 beats per minute. The key thing is that this slowness, whilst it makes the music have little content at first listen, actually adds to the emotion and makes Brendan Perry's voice - which could easily be used for awful soul-pop in the vein of Joe Cocker - sound really passionate and so deeply melodic that it really hits your heart just as much Lisa's siren-like wail that actually is on "Mesmerism" very close to Liz Fraser.

The real gems that make "Spleen and Ideal" a remarkable album, however, are the first three tracks. "De Profundis" even features Andrew Hutton as Boy soprano and the incomprehensible yet twinkling vocals of Lisa Gerrard really cry despair. "Circumradiant Dawn" shows Lisa singing with even more passion, whilst the mainly instrumental "Ascension" features some of the most powerful, gut-wrenching, soulful horns you will ever hear.

After this, "Spleen and Ideal" become a little less inaccessible, but its slow, soulful passion remains a taste very difficult to acquire. Perry's beautiful voice on "The Cardinal Sin", "Enigma of the Absolute" and "Advent" perfectly matches the despairing lyrics he was to perfect on their next album Within the Realm of a Dying Sun. "Mesmerism" reminds one of another mystical masterpiece released a mere few months previously in Kate Bush's Hounds of Love but is more gorgeous and sensual than Bush ever was. "Advent" is as near to pop as Dead Can Dance were ever to be, but it is not easy to imagine the lyrics Perry sings on commercial radio.

"Avatar" makes for further Kate Bush comparisons with its joyful, mystical mood, but Lisa's voice is incredibly entrancing when you listen carefully and more upfront than on any other Dead Can Dance piece. Closer "Indoctrination (A Design for Living)" is really sedate, dark, yet totally danceable and really shows to great effect how people doom themselves to loss of freedom in its lyrics.

All in all, "Spleen and Ideal" can seem nothing on first listen but it is a truly beautiful and emotional work if you - unlike most listeners - manage to acquire a taste for it. Alternately despairing and ecstatically joyful, it was the true beginning of one of the most unique bands of at least the part forty years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...It's an illusion of life...", April 18, 2004
By 
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
While Dead can dance's first album was already a magical gothic rock experience their second album brings their music to the heights of artistic perfection.
"de profundis" already shows band's new style - heavy medieval wall of sound,Lisa's etheral vocals and creepy atmosphere."ascension","Cumirant dawn","Mesmerism" are really scary and fascinating at the same time,while Brendan Perry's songs have got more traditional new wave rock feeling."The cardinal sin" is very hipnotising with it's dark lyrics,trumpets,gloomy bass riff and ocasionally played piano. "advent" is the most normal sounding song compared to the rest of album. "Indoctrination" is a great ending to the album.
TO be honest at first i didin't liked "spleen and ideal" as much as their other works.at first i thought it is too much raw and uncertain...but after few listenings i got addicted to it. i think that this is the music that you really love when you will already get into it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Between two worlds, June 12, 2000
By 
loteq (Regensburg/Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
"Spleen and ideal" is my favorite DCD album; the dynamics of the arrangements and the thrilling performances here are amazing. While the drum machines and the doomy atmosphere of their self-titled debut have remained, DCD's overall sound embraces unfamiliar approaches for an essentially rock-based band: European medieval music, featuring Gregorian chants, Celtic, and neo-Gothic. Lisa Gerrard takes a larger share of the vocal turns here than on DCD's debut. Nearly every song has a particular element or edge to it, making it immediately attractive and fascinating, just listen to the majestic trombones of "Ascension", the pulsating dance beats of "Mesmerism", the booming, primeval bass drums of "Enigma..", or the crystalline synths of "Advent". Always employed with rare skill and grace, the medieval elements of this album evoke a deeply touching, ecstatic mood without ever sounding trashy or unfocused. Maybe "Spleen and ideal" is not DCD's most popular album (many fans prefer the follow-up "Within the realm.." or DCD's commercial breakthrough "Into the labyrinth"), but I think the band hasn't sounded so severe and powerful on other releases.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Toward the..., February 2, 2000
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
...well, toward the Dead Can Dance sound, I suppose. This release was the beginning of DCD's move away from the 'typical' 4AD label sound of darkish, goth-pop-styled music and atmospherics to begin to craft a sound that took advantage of a multitude of musical influences. And you do see some of this, particularly Western classical directions, starting to make major impacts here and there on this album. But by and large, there's still a lot of that 4AD feel here as well. A mixed bag, albeit a very well-done one. But I'd suggest skipping this, going on to the next album ("Within the Realm of a Dying Sun"), then coming back here if that clicks with you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immacculate Cat-Head Music for Toddlers and Thizz Kids, December 5, 2005
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
Dead Can Dance's 1985 effort "Spleen and Ideal" is a collection of solid jams from the original Australian lords of thizz..Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard..it is groovy cult music for all generations and must be listened to carefully, and obsessively..it is best in the wee hours of the morning, after a long day/night i.e. 4-5am..expensive speakers or headphones are highly recommended for this particular musical journey..i implore you all to get this bad boy under your belt QUICKLY, time is running out.

-Dr. Gonzo, PHDizzle
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A transitional album -- and a good one, April 14, 2007
By 
Eric Kelly (San Rafael, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spleen & Ideal (Audio CD)
Made up of the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, Dead Can Dance melded their own unique and changing sound from a variety of influences. Spleen and Ideal, Dead Can Dance's second full album, can be best seen as a transition from their 80s new wave/dark pop beginnings towards the more orchestral/operatic sound of their next album, Within The Realm of a Dying Sun. As such, it features some of the best of both these worlds.

The two opening tracks feature strings, horns, and spine-tingling vocal work from Lisa, conjuring up associations of medieval liturgy, classical dirges and dark opera, and on Enigma of the Absolute, Brendan sounds a bit like a goth Frank Sinatra, crooning mythically-tinged lyrics over a background of harpsichord, thundering tympani and pulsing string section. By contrast, his songs The Cardinal Sin and Advent utilize more standard drums and bass backing, and the combination of crashing 80s backbeat, wailing vocals and shimmering Yang Ch'in (Chinese hammer dulcimer) turn Lisa's track Avatar into a thrilling dark wave headbanger anthem.

If you think you may be interested in the group's early sound and/or their rich and distinctive middle period, this CD not a bad place to start your explorations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transitional....but still had a pulse..., September 4, 2008
By 
Mark C. (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Spleen and Ideal [Re-Mastered] (Audio CD)
after SPLEEN they should have brought in the defibulators. I was stunned by the first DCD-it had DRIVE and LIFE to it-the dead WERE dancing-dark, complex Middle-Eastern (ME) tinged arrangements, sincere, intelligent lyrics, Lisa's amazing vocalizations-and her marvelous playing of the chinese stringed instrument-which seemed to vanish after SPLEEN pretty much -all seemingly custom made music just for me-I felt that music had died until their emergence (I still wish I knew the lyrics to OCEAN)

After this CD, with a few exceptions they became 'dead on Valium'. Too much slow, ponderous deep and profound preaching stuff-or else they became the resident musicians of the Smithsonian-sadly-then the new agers discovered them. OMG. This surprised me- as most of them seem to love YANNI-like corn syrup music...well, at least it benefited them personally-they didnt have to worry about rent money each month.

For what its worth I have all of the SACD albums-but I always come back to #1 and SPLEEN. ARCANE DELIGHTS has 2-3 great pieces on it, also. I am rather annoyed or perplexed they made it separate-it was on the previous incarnation CD as bonus tracks-and is now priced higher than the other full-on CDs!

Now this (SPLEEN) has some great tracks and excepting the rather bombastic kettle drum song (name i dont remember) I was still quite happy having found them. BUT
When DYING SUN came out, I felt alienated-except for CANTARA-lovely. They had moved on-too far on.

This was a nice mix-and I am not one to say they should do the same album over and over-but think they should have taken a vacation from brooding symphonies Period/Ethnic dabbling the deeply profound, and made an album with drive and LIFE to it-similar to the style of #1-but they would have incorporated- in the "rock" vein with all their newfound wealth-and gained experiences. They were EXCELLENT MUSICIANS-that cannot be denied, Brendons deep, sage like voice, came across as a very thoughfull, intelligent man at what-25? their ability to master musical styles and play instruments is nothing short of amazing
And Lisa's letting loose when she did was divine-until she joined the 'Sisterhood of the Sacred' Some of it is beautiful, but lacked spark. Dont get me wrong I LOVE them both and feel something unameable-but the first album made an imprint on me that summer which will not go away. OCEAN. WILD IN THE WORDS. FORTUNE. Still stun me. How can they not in their sparse economy move anyone?
DCD, Garden, and Spleen-then it was world/new age symphonic profoundness. Little drive-no more dance;
And you can examine the worlds problems and how to live properly so many times before it gets boring.
Thus 'World' and 'New Age' music are not my cup of tea-for the Spirolina set.

I listen to a lot of AZAM ALI, whose music has drive, mysticism and lyrics that dont preach-(or inform us 17 different ways of the miseries and short comings of living on Earth--a little of that goes a long way)-but she tells us of her experiences in life-and still sings of the positive. If you like the latter DCD you should try her PORTALS OF GRACE-a very brave and difficult acheivment from a woman who could have simply gotten by on her looks and singing Middle Eastern pop. She also part of a band called NYAZ- which play largely traditional ME motifs, with a few accomedations for electronics.
This review is all over the map, but I am locked out of DCD #1 by a previous review
As Ive already noted-the world is a richer place given that they are in it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Spleen and Ideal [Re-Mastered]
Spleen and Ideal [Re-Mastered] by Dead Can Dance (Audio CD - 2008)
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.