Review Summary: Following up from 2010's Dust Lane, Skyline is a logical and consistent step forward that opens up even more opportunities for Tiersen to expand his sound.
I have to admit I was surprised to see this album so soon after Dust Lane was released. At the same time, I was incredibly excited, being that Dust Lane is one of my favorite records and I’m a big fan of Tiersen, as well. So, when I first heard the single, “Monuments”, a few weeks before the album went to the shelves in Europe, I was glad to hear Tiersen continuing with the more folksy, experimental rock sound established on Dust Lane.
However, it was only natural to have fears Skyline may have only amounted to be an inferior series of outtakes from Dust Lane, but thankfully that’s not the case at all. With Skyline, Tiersen continues in his departure from the world-inspired modern classical sound he was known for, and instead applies his unique writing style and composition to an experimental combination of rock and folk with strong, varied ambient soundscapes. Skyline takes this to the next level, rarely ever getting too weird, with the exception of the brash yells in “Exit 25 Block 20“ which may surprise you a bit.
Tiersen has a reputation for creating emotionally endearing, tear-jerking music and Skyline is no exception to that. Like with his previous releases, Tiersen doesn’t rely on lyrics to evoke emotion from the listener, and instead treats vocals as another instrument to accommodate the layered emotional atmosphere contained within his music.
Dust Lane carried a joyfully painful tone that could pick you up when you were blue or drop you down when you were too high on yourself. Skyline is similar, though it’s much less morose and carries a more positive sound as a whole. Obviously, this is just what I derived from it, and being that this is an entirely subjective experience, you might walk away with something entirely different.
That said, Skyline is a more than fitting successor to Dust Lane that opens up many musical possibilities for the direction Tiersen could take on his next release. While it may never really surpass its predecessor, Skyline never disappoints and should leave fans of Tiersen yearning for more.