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Silence: City (Days)/(Nights)

If I was to tell you that Silence have created a conceptual epic spread across two separate albums City (Days) and City (Nights), then you'd be forgiven for presuming that we are in progressive territory here. However nothing could be further from the truth, with the tales of how The City can provide the odd chink of light in amongst a whole lot of heartbreak, despair and loss, actually being paired - surprisingly successfully - with smooth, slick AOR. Touching on topics such as homelessness and family break-up, or escapism and hope, the two albums split into tales and emotions from, as the album title's suggest, the city by day and by night.

Silence themselves are actually already four albums old, basically being a partnership between Bruno Levesque (guitars/keyboards) and Ben Venet (vocals/guitars), with the pair almost exclusively writing all 22 tracks across both albums. The exceptions prove the pair's AOR credentials, with "Guardian Angel" from (Days) being from the pen of Spiro/Thompson and "Just One Kiss On Your Heart" from (Nights) being provided by Frederic Slama from the band AOR.

As you would expect, (Days) is the slightly brighter and breezier of the pair - musically at least - the lyrics can be rather bleak across both. With the likes of "Lift Me Up" which is a glorious duet from Ben and Justine Venet and the brooding "Jenny" setting the restrained, refined tone. There's no doubt that in decades gone past both these tracks as well as the keyboard heavy "The End Of The Day" or "Guardian Angel" could have been chart-bothering material. However the weightier lyrical tone is well represented in the music, while still remaning catchy, hook laden stuff.

(Nights) immediately feels darker (no pun intended), with a sharper, tougher riff than anything on its companion piece, introducing the up-tempo "Drifting Away" - think Pull era Winger and you'll have an idea of where the song is headed - something that the edgy "Ghosts" illustrates further. Adding a Van Halen "Dreams" like keyboard melody "Crashing Down" actually raises the mood, while "Insomnia" finds Silence at their most threatening and intense, with the air of darkness almost verging into progressive rock, although the riff is pure 80's and the chorus pay-off, almost too good to be true.

As individual albums City (Days) and City (Nights) make strong statements, however as an interlinked partnership they become greater and more compelling. Yes, they may be too overtly AOR for some of the serious rockers out there and possibly they will, in places, be too dark for the pink-fluffy brigade. However live with both CDs for a period of time and the melodies, lyrical ideas and overall atmosphere provided by both discs, prove to be really rather seductive.

Track Listing
City (Days)
1. Beggars Day
2. Father
3. Footprints
4. Brand New Start
5. Jenny
6. Guardian Angel
7. The End Of The Day
8. Lift Me Up
9. Daydreaming
10. Business
11. Waiting For Dawn (Lullaby)

City (Nights)
1. Drifting Away
2. Ghosts
3. Taste Of The Past
4. Crashing Down
5. Memory Of Blue Eyes
6. Someday
7. Insomnia
8. Promised Land
9. Just One Kiss On Your Heart
10. Out Of The Dream
11. (Goodbye To) The Good Old Days

Added: May 19th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Official Silence WebSite
Hits: 2178
Language: english

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