Mojo - David Sylvian "Sleepwalkers"

03.12.10

4/5 stars

Compare Sleepwalkers with 2000's Everything and Nothing and it's clear that since then, Sylvian has steered his cappuccino-smooth vocals into some difficult places. He has the confidence to transform the most abstract musical backing into a song - giving this eclectic set coherence. Sachiko M and Toshimaru Nakamura's twitchy electronica on the title track evokes the free improv settings of last year's Manafon album. Sylvian's vocal cadences are stately as ever, but he excels when singing something as old-fashioned as a song with chords in it. Ballad Of A Deadman is a sassy, bluesy duet with Joan (As Police Woman) Wasser, written by brother Steve Jansen; World Citizen - I Won't be Disappointed is a melancholic ballad sung against Ryuichi Sakamoto's luminous electronic backdrop; and Dai Fujikura's string quartet is exquisite on Fine Lines.

MIKE BARNES



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