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As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

While Saturday Night Live's "Goth Talk" sketch has all but shattered the pretensions of those living after midnight, the music's emotional impetus remains undisturbed, if As One Aflame be admitted as evidence. The Projekt label has been long dedicated to ethereal sounds, releasing albums that combine the placid spirituality of New Age with the vampiric night music of goth since 1986. Label founder and Black Tape "electronics" guru Sam Rosenthal works with a revolving cast (a bit like Ivo Watts-Russell's work at 4AD with This Mortal Coil but with increased involvement). The melancholy streak permeates all 71 minutes. Longing and desire are brought to obsessive degrees (lyric inspiration includes Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs and Baudelaire's "Windows," for starters); the music echoes these sentiments. Excessive swaths of reverb heighten the otherworldly effect for the choirlike vocal ensemble and stretch the flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and harmonium notes to infinity. Piano chords signal doom. The perfect soundtrack for those trapped in their room staring at candles. --Rob O'Connor

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire
  2. Given
  3. Entr'Acte (The Garden Awaits Us)
  4. Tell Me You've Taken Another
  5. Entr'Acte (The Carnival Barker)
  6. Dream
  7. The Apotheosis
  8. Russia
  9. Your One Wish
  10. Dulcinea
  11. The Green Box
  12. Denouement/Denouncement
  13. The Passage


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Projekt Records
  • ASIN: B00000G5PH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Black Tape For A Blue Girl Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
BTFABG's work is definitely an aquired taste. Their pretensious, artsy leanings can be off-putting to some as can the bleakness of their sound. However, when they strike the right balance, BTFABG can create some really great stuff.
In my opinion, the less Oscar vocals, the better. Black Tape's best stuff is ethereal, moody, contemplative and quite beautiful. Some if it can be reminiscent of This Mortal Coil's work (in style), some of it similar to darker moodier New Age/Vidna Obmana type work (whom Sam did a collaboration with once. An excellent CD by the way). I don't care what anybody says, I happen to like that stuff and I enjoy melodramatic, dark music. To me, I don't need a band to have so called "redeeming" values in the their work. I don't see optimism as being either a "redeeming" value or a negative one. It just is. If you want optimism put some other band in your player. That's what I do. When I'm in the mood for a more bleak and serious tone, I put in Black Tape or other stuff like them. Everything has it's place and purpose. Just because a work of art is pessimistic does not mean it does not have "redeeming" quality. As for the band being too artsy and literate..well, I see both sides of this arguement. I mean with a name like Black Tape For A Blue Girl, you should know what you are in for....a little pretensiousness is bound to be evident. However it's a sad sad commentary on American culture that when someone is literate and has a knowledge of art and they show it because that is what they are genuinely interested in, they get put down or dismissed as being too "artsy".
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Format: Audio CD
I listened to this three times in a single afternoon. I found the music to be the most haunting I have ever heard. I bought it on a whim and I am hooked.
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Format: Audio CD
Lush, gorgeous, passionate. The latest album from Black Tape for a Blue Girl explores and bares emotions in a personal manner like few others dare to. Black Tape's gothic/etherial style has never been more accessible, but the insight offered by Sam Rosenthal's lyrics is powerful and runs deep. The music makes one realize just what the term "achingly beautiful" means. Light candles and prepare to be swept off your feet.
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Format: Audio CD
Fellini would listen to this stuff and say, "Um...I don't get it."
Black Tape for A Blue Girl is as artsy as it gets. Like all their albums, it's hit-and-miss but good enough to add to your CD library.
Sam Rosenthal's lyrics and singing are so melodramatic that you either fall off your chair laughing, or you dissolve in tears as he voices your deepest sorrows. Julianna Towns' beautiful, disciplined voice (similar to Claire Voyant's Victoria Lloyd) is an effective counterpoint. Oscar Herrera's vocals sound like Rosenthal's, and thus suit the music equally.
The instrumentation is soothing, and it's all bathed in Rosenthal's synth. Lisa Feuer's flute work is simple and seductive. Vicki Richards' serpentine violin conveys the Black Tape version of a guitar solo. When a PIANO is the most upbeat, percussive instrument on an album (as in track 8, "Russia"), that's an intense mood. The melodic standouts are "Given," "entr'acte [the carnival barker]," and my personal favorite, "Denouement/denouncement." The ambient vibe of "The Passage" is so hypnotic that if you close your eyes, you either see The Light At The End of The Tunnel, or you lapse into a coma for three weeks.
"As One Aflame" goes exactly where Black Tape has gone before, but they're the only band going SO VERY FAR along that path. They're the sonic equivalent of the girl in 11th grade who wore raccoon eye makeup and wrote poetry with her two friends during lunch. Viva la Mope!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a nice collection of sound-art that's melancholy, pretty, and pleasant to listen to while day-dreaming or getting ready to sleep.
I would agree with other reviewers that it's not for everyone's taste. So, I wouldn't recommend this if you aren't friendly to (or at least open-minded about) experimental/ambient music. I would hesitate to call most of these tracks "songs" in the traditional sense. If you expect a beat and a melody, you'll be disappointed! Also, don't expect great poetry. The lyrics are, at least in my opinion, second-rate. (But that isn't especially distracting. The vocal delivery is generally very non-agressive, so you can ignore the words and let the voices blend into the sounds.)
On the positive side, this CD weaves together a mood that is tranquil, yearning, and dreamy. It's all pretty, and there are occasional moments of beauty. The ethereal voices are nice (especially the female vocals) and the instrumentation is often lulling and sometimes haunting.
You could find it either peaceful or boring, I think, because it doesn't build to any real crescendos. Fragments of melody appear and disappear. A motif starts to develop, then fades away. I think of it as "emotional driftwood" because it's like a fragment of feeling or a bit of a story that washes up on the beach with one wave, then vanishes underwater again with the next. I find it nice to listen to with my eyes closed, just letting my thoughts swirl in and out of the soundscapes. It's sort of like meditation music, but painted with a different palette than the new-age stuff, grey-tones instead of brights or pastels.
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