Uncut - Nine Horses "Snow Borne Sorrow"

04.11.05

5/5 stars

David Sylvian back on sublime form.

Sylvian collaborates with brother (and fellow ex-Japan man) Steve Jansen and avant-electronica scenester Burnt Friedman for what may be his masterpiece. If you've kept the faith through his years of sonic exploration, covertly praying for one you can mope along to like Brilliant Trees or Gone To Earth, be assured: this marries epic Cohen-style narcissism and post-9/11 poetry to deft and sumptuous music. "Darkest Birds" and "The Banality Of Evil" are among the most well-guaged, melancholy songs he's ever written. Bone-dry humour, too, on"Serotonin" and "The Librarian" - if those titles show winking self-awareness, wait until you hear the lyrics. Stina Nordenstam and Ryuichi Sakamoto guest.

CHRIS ROBERTS

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