Thursday, March 02, 2006

Album Review: Blackfield - S/T

By: Blackfield
Year: 2004

As anyone who frequents this site (or, in all honesty, converses with me about music for any period of time) will know, I am a huge Steven Wilson fan. I have loved his work with Porcupine Tree, and was curious to see what else this amazing musician had done. In the reissues of all the old Porcupine Tree discs there was a little flyer for a project Wilson had done with Aviv Geffen, a popular Israeli musician.
Finally, after much searching, I was able to find this disc at Media Play (right before it went out of business, no less . . .) and was thoroughly surprised yet delighted with this album. I wondered if it would have the same drive as a PT disc, seeing as how Wilson would be sharing the pen with someone else whose music I had never heard, but I was pleased with this album.
Keep in mind – this record has nowhere near the immersive quality of any PT disc, but for what it lacks in ambience it makes up for in sincerity. All of the songs on this album are short – the thirteen track CD is less than forty five minutes, after all – but are catchy, pop-ish, slightly progressive tunes. I still enjoy this album as a gateway for normal music listeners into the wonderful world of progressive rock.
Tracks to catch: Open Mind: the opening track, it starts so subtlety but builds with exceeding force to an impressive climax – a great tune. Glow: a creepy, atmospheric tune that also builds to a splendid explosion of sound. Lullaby: a song that sounds like it should be a sappy love song, but with biting, seething lyrics and creepy melodies. Where is My Love?: a bonus track only available on the special edition of the disc, but very rewarding and melancholy song.
Final verdict: Explore it
This album is a great effort from a band – most groups would love to put out an album this focused, this unique, and this driven, but because of my familiarity with the other works of Steven Wilson, there are far better places to begin.

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