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Blackfield: Blackfield

Blackfield is the project of Porcupine Tree leader Steven Wilson and Israel's most outspoken counter culture rock musician Aviv Geffen. Together they have put together a very modern sounding recording that meshes melancholy progressive rock with shimmering pop nuances that works nicely on all levels.

Fans of Porcupine Tree's Signify era will especially dig this CD, as Wilson's resonant vocals and dreamy arrangements permeate most of the ten cuts here. Oodles of Mellotron and synths provide much of the musical landscape, with just enough electric and acoustic guitars to add a nice rock flavor to some of the songs, especially on the cut "Open Mind." Geffen, while a household name in Israel, has yet to make an impact in the rest of the world, but that might end now, as his vocal, instrumental, and songwriting prowess is pretty impressive, adding layers of depth to the powerful "Cloudy Now", as well as the quirky "The Hole in Me." His keyboard work is outstanding, as he goes for a huge wall of sound more so than flash-listen to the gigantic waves of Mellotron on the title track, or the majestic piano strains of "Hello" for some great examples. On the latter, Wilson also lends some searing slide guitar that will instantly remind you of David Gilmour circa the Pink Floyd album Meddle.

This is quite a pleasant album, full of warm pop music embelished with moody prog rock atmosphere, which might be a nice change of pace for Porcupine Tree fans who clamor music that is less heavier than the direction that band has been taking the last few years. It will be interesting to see where Snapper Music can take this CD, as there is great potential here for mainstream acceptance in many parts of the world. A very solid and enjoyable release from two very talented musicians who seem to really hit it off together. Recommended!

Tracks List
1. Open Mind
2. Blackfield
3. Glow
4. Scars
5. Lullaby
6. Pain
7. Summer
8. Cloudy Now
9. The Hole In Me
10. Hello

Bonus Disc
1. Perfect World
2. Where is My Love?
3. Cloudy Now (live)
4. Enhanced video track 'Blackfield'

Added: March 8th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Blackfield Website
Hits: 8788
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Blackfield: Blackfield
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-03-09 22:18:24
My Score:

If you are a fan of Steven Wilson's revolutionary prog rock band Porcupine Tree, then you probably already know that whatever Wilson touches immediately turns to gold. I really need to stress the fact that Steven Wilson is one of the most talented, creative and prolific artists of the last 10 years. I discovered him through his contribution to Opeth and gradually picked up Porcupine Tree's entire back catalog, his electronic solo album and his collaboration with Tim Bowness on the No-Man project. I must say I was mesmerized by the originality and deepness of each project Wilson released and consider him a terribly overlooked talent of the past decade.

When I first heard about Blackfield, I was psyched. This was going to be a unique meeting of different cultures, since co-writer Aviv Geffen is from Israel. I knew Geffen would bring in his own Middle Eastern touch and Steven Wilson has a great talent in creating expansive textures and unorthodox songcraft. Although Geffen and Wilson intended to release an EP back in 2001, upon joining forces they realised they could come up with enough material to compose a full-length disc. The writing proces, from what I understand, was done individually by each artist. Both Geffen and Wilson wrote their own music and then seamlessly blended their compositions. I even think Geffen originally came up with Hebrew lyrics to some of the tracks which Steven Wilson managed to change to English. Obviously some tracks like "Blackfield" and"Scar" were co-written. I believe Aviv Geffen sings on two tracks, "Pain" and "Hole In Me". There is no mention of it in the liner notes and honestly the vocals sound oddly similar, not so much in the tone but the way the lyrics are delivered. Steven Wilson did the arrangements, mixing and production. This album is a perfect hybrid of post-pop, classical, some jazz and progressive rock music, and is one of the subtlest albums to date created by Steven Wilson, differing from Porcupine Tree slightly. It has a darker tone yet is surprisingly easy to listen to. The songs aren't too long or overly complex with stop-and-start interludes or technically structured instrumentation. Wilson's soft piano runs through most of the songs and is always backed by soothing vocal harmonies and well thought-out lyrics. The opening riff of "Open Mind" will immediately grab you and put a smile on your face. All songs are very well arranged and beautifully structered, investing in a depth of emotion and very identifiable with the listener. After listening to Blackfield several times, you will notice that you could only expect something as deep as this from Steven Wilson.

Blackfield: Blackfield
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-10-05 18:51:16
My Score:

Some music plays well in the background. Most progressive music insists on being right up there on the foreground, demanding your full attention. It is rare that a CD can equally fill both roles.

As a collaboration between Israel's Aviv Geffen and England's Steven (Porcupine Tree) Wilson, Blackfield is a 37 too-short-minutes album of 10 tracks of symphonic, melancholy light rock songs with the unmistakeable Porcupine Tree sound. But that comparison is principally because of the vocal style. Some of the better moments on the CD are Geffen creations, and the standout track is "Cloudy Now" – a rather standard ballad, but very pretty with acoustic guitar, soft keys, very simple and very melodic. Then for the last few seconds it suddenly becomes a bigger, heavier sound, and you may lament the fact that it isn't much longer. The next best song is the title track, which could comfortably find a home on any one of Wilson's many CDs, by any of his bands.

The ambience on the CD is gentle and somber, rather like the softest of the Lightbulb Sun era Porcupine Tree songs. The 4-or-so-minute tracks are all rather approachable but they are neither neo nor pop. Two songs were written by Wilson, several were collaborative efforts, and three are rearrangements of old Geffen songs. The international version of the album comes with a bonus CD with more songs and an extremely clever video of the Blackfield song.

Wilson describes Blackfield as 'Classic melancholic songs with a lush and warm production'. We can't describe it better – so we'll stop now!



» Reader Comments:

Blackfield: Blackfield
Posted by Julian V Hansen on 2011-07-18 04:10:37
My Score:

Imo it sounds too much like Porcupine for a sideproject, it is maybe less heavyer, but it´s the same sound and progressions as Porcupine Tree could have done. As an artist myself i i wanted to do a sideproject it should be something that i wouldn´t have the oppotunity to do in my main band/project, only heard a couple of songs from it and songs like Blackfield are butter to the ears, but could aswell been released as a Porcupine Tree song imo. But as long as Steven Wilson is singing it sound great, but a bit boring aswell. My score would be somewhere between 6 and 7.

Blackfield: Blackfield
Posted by Todd A. Lee on 2006-01-10 03:31:38
My Score:

I don't know if stands up against Wilson's other side projects, it is actually a great companion piece to Opeth's Damnation; I tend to follow one with the other. (Damnation was produced by Wilson with some writing and keyboard contribution as well) Even though the Blackfield album does contain its share of atmospheric flourishes, it is a more laid back, organic, and intimate approach than I've heard from Wilson previously. Its definately worth hearing, especially for any fan of Steve Wilson.




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