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David Sylvian: Secrets of the Beehive

Album Notes

Personnel includes: David Sylvian (vocals); Ryuichi Sakamoto.

With his second solo album after his departure from art-rock outfit Japan, David Sylvian weaves a nebular, swirling world, nuanced by suspended piano strains, chiming guitars, synthesizer, organ, guitar loops, and tasteful orchestral arrangements. Meticulous attention to instrumentation, arrangement and production creates an almost pre-conscious timbre, while Sylvian's evocative lyrics and his whispering baritone, which hovers somewhere between the somber tones of Richard Thompson and Bryan Ferry's seductive croon, gives the whole its floating, mysterious feel.

While the album's overall ambience is consistently quiet, sensual, and dimly lit, there are subtle dynamic shifts among the individual compositions. The moodily acoustic "When Poets Dreamed of Angels" is countered by the hymn-like "Let the Happiness In," while the rhythmic pulse of "The Boy With the Gun" is followed by the almost abstract "Maria." The result is an album varied in texture yet unified in mood. Arguably Sylvian's finest effort, SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE offers a haunting, sustained musical experience.


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