Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Blackfield II (Dig)
Genres: Pop, Rock, Hard Rock & Metal
Two years back and forth on the London-Tel-Aviv flight path, a mutual artistic curiosity, and a close friendship are the components that gave birth to Aviv and Steven's Blackfield project. The collaborative songs alongsi... more »
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Two years back and forth on the London-Tel-Aviv flight path, a mutual artistic curiosity, and a close friendship are the components that gave birth to Aviv and Steven's Blackfield project. The collaborative songs alongside songs written by each separately brought a unique meeting of cultures, which resulted in a sophisticated, melodic and melancholic rock album. Aviv and Steven spent the rest of 2005 writing new material and working on their own projects, but in early 2006 Steven moved to Israel for 6 months to enable Blackfield to work on a new album. As on the first album both songwriters composed original songs for Blackfield, but also a few of Aviv's songs previously recorded in Hebrew as a solo artist were selected and translated into English. This time the record was made in one short burst of activity (unlike the sporadic sessions for the first album that spanned 2 years). Using the now established 5 piece Blackfield band line up, the resulting album Blackfield II has a stronger sense of direction and power, and is described as "a collection of 10 perfectly crafted songs of beauty and melancholia, combining great hooks, sweeping strings, explosive guitars, and lush vocal harmonies."
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Anthony Morelli | Montreal, Canada | 02/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blackfield II absolutely rocks! My copy arrived in the mail last week from the Burningshed site. I never expected such brilliance. It's such a perfect album and makes me feel positive about this particular, hard-to-classify genre of music. I'm quite surprised by the distinct personality Blackfield II has, since the first album lacked a lot of upbeat songs, which to me, was a bit depressing. As a matter of fact, Blackfield II runs circles around the first album. I'm not saying the 1st album was bad, cos it wasn't. I loved it and still do. The 1st album was darker, moodier and much more melodramatic. Blackfield II is an upbeat breath of fresh air in our modern-day commercial music industry. BF II's songs are mostly ballads and, really pretty at times. Am not trying to sound corny, but the songs are excellent. All through the album are Steven Wilson's signature sliding guitar riffs, lofty keyboard arrangements, as well as that wonderful sound called "Mellotron". I love the Porcupine Tree/Pink Floyd influence, cos we all know that Steven Wilson has taken Porcupine Tree in a totally different direction with the last two PT albums. Blackfield defines "real" music all the way. Oh, one thing I should bring up before it slips my mind...Aviv Geffen sings much more on Blackfield II, and he does have a good singing voice and interesting accent.
"Epidemic" (Track 6) is incredibly dramatic and upbeat with an alternative sound. After 3 listens, it's my absolute fave BF song. SW lets out a wild cry around halfway through the song, which I'm sure he hasn't done before on any album of his material. Songs of this nature totally blow me away. As I write this review, I'm listening to the album for the 3rd time. Piano and keyboard arrangements are fluid and abundant, which definitely ties together such an album. When SW and AG aren't singing, that's when we're treated to that wonderful SW-based piano & synth sound. I'm very happy and proud to own the CD, and to know of this totally underrated band. Hopefully they won't become over-exposed and too commercial, for then their music will turn in the other direction. Blackfield II reminds me of the first time I discovered the duo...and way before that, PT and SW as a solo and band musician. From start to finish, Blackfield II is a gem, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves, appreciates and treats every aspect of a remarkable album equally.
Only complaint (not worthy of lowering my 5-star rating): the album is too short. Just like the 1st album, Blackfield II is short and the songs pass too quickly, although there are only 10 songs. Still, good things don't last long enough. Track 9 (Where is My Love) can be found on the 2CD or 1CD re-issue of their 1st album....which is a great song that leads up to a catchy refrain, sung mostly by Aviv.
The CD is housed in a nifty tri-fold digipack with lots of photos and/or artwork. Printed on matte paperboard, the digipack is definitely subject to easy damage if mis-treated. Although it's not as sturdy as some other digipacks, it is still sturdy and appears to be well-produced. The disc itself features an enlarged portion of the band's name (taken from the front cover) and rests in the center panel of the package, while the 8-page booklet is housed inside the right panel. Inside the booklet are full lyrics, credits and cool photos of SW and AG. As SW has done with all his re-issues on the Snapper label, you will find an insert advertising all the re-issues of SW's material on Snapper. This is great publicity for SW's greatly underrated music of past & present.
02- 1,000 People
03- Miss U
05- This Killer
07- My Gift of Sacrifice
08- Some Day
09- Where is My Love?
10- End of the World
~Total Playing Time: 42:34~
- Produced and mixed by Steven Wilson in Tel Aviv and London, Feb-June 2006
- Made In England"
Melanic meets Melodic
DJ Ed Cyphers | Pittsburgh, PA | 07/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ridiculous. This album brought out the music freak in me; compelled me to buy an extra copy just to have on hand to give to whichever of my friends shows good enough taste to appreciate it. Something this good has to be shared.
As an avid music collector (and one who, I may add, searches mostly in vain for Prog Rock of this caliber) I discover new music exponentially more frequently than I did as a young man. (It's more available, easier to sample before you buy, etc.) But SO seldom does a new CD do to me what this one did. Like most of my all-time favorites, it took a few listenings to sink in; then on the next few it sank in deeper, until it gave me a feeling that comes too rarely to one who owns so many albums: I had the feeling, listening to Blackfield II, that it might be THE LAST CD I'D EVER HAVE TO BUY. Absurd? Yes. Did the feeling last? Of course not--it never does. If it did I wouldn't truly BE a music lover. But the feeling WAS unmistakable.
This is just one type of popular music; it's just one band of the spectrum even of Rock music--or even of Prog Rock. But if it's YOUR frequency, if this type of music hits you where you live, you'll hear what I heard: perfection.
This is Rock music with beauty as it's defining characteristic; sophisticated, wondrously arranged stuff that can be played softly or loudly to equally enjoyable effect. Songs that straddle the lands of "dark" and "catchy", two musical land masses which I previously thought didn't share a border. This is music which doesn't employ hooks but TENDRILS, the more deftly and permanently to attach itself to your brain. And once it's there you'll be glad of it, except for the itch you'll feel to turn everyone else on to the perfection YOU now hear."
Robert Hamilton | PA, USA | 03/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge fan of Steven Wilson. In my opinion, he is the best songwriter working today, so naturally I gravitate to all of his projects. The original Blackfield record was an amazing album created alongside Isreali singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen, and featured a beautiful, mellow soundscape. Blackfield II eclipses the original in scope, sonic quality and sheer beauty. The first album had extreme highs with individual songs, but they didn't quite flow together (they were all recorded at different points in time over the span of a few years; fans will know that "Cloudy Now," "Pain," and the title track soared above most of the other material). This is not the case with Blackfield II, as nearly every song is cohesive with the rest, making for a more atmospheric experience. Steven and Aviv split songwriting duties, and it is much more difficult to differentiate which writer is responsible for which song this time around. My standout tracks are "Once," "Epidemic," "My Gift of Silence," and "The End of the World," which all feature the prerequisite layered harmonies and distinctive melodies (there are also lush, orchestral backings to many songs). If you enjoyed the original record or are a fan of any of Wilson's other projects, you will be floored. Blackfield II is a masterpiece of atmosphere, beauty and harmony."