David Sylvian
Dead Bees on a Cake


4.5
superb

Review

by Supercoolguy64 USER (82 Reviews)
July 9th, 2015 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A unique piece of work that flawlessly combines multiple styles of music, ultimately creating a beautiful listen

David Sylvian is a name that I am not too familiar with, to be completely honest. In fact, I was completely disinterested with him and his work before I heard his 1999 album Dead Bees On A Cake. Hell, it still a couple of listens to fully appreciate it as an album, but that’s not to say it’s not worth the time of day. Not one bit, Dead Bees On A Cake is just as odd, yet attractive as it’s interesting title, for it combines all kinds of different musical styles and tones in a flawless manner, perfectly absorbing the listener in a tight grasp.

It’s hard for me to pin down an exact genre tag for this disc, the musical styles of jazz, art rock, ambient, and, to an extent, folk are all blended together on this record, forming this surprisingly beautiful and smooth musical tone for the record. The opener “I Surrender” is a jazzy, nine-minute number that includes funky guitars and ringing synths that, when mixed together, paints the track like an artist with a canvas. Sylvian’s vocals are top notch, his voice is incredibly smooth and charismatic, adding extra charm to the track. That’s another thing I like about this record, Sylvain’s vocals.

They’re just so charming. To hear his carefree voice effortlessly float through each track is a very special treat. The rugged, yet incredibly warm tone of his voice perfectly fits in with the musical mood, whether it be the colorful, jazzy tracks like “I Surrender” or the atmospheric, ambience-ridden “Darkest Dreaming”. Even on some of the more silly tracks like “God Men”, they way Sylvian’s vocals layer the trippy guitars and metallic drumming is just amazing.

My only real complaint with this record, though, is that, sometimes, the outstanding tracks are so great that they end up outshining others. For example, “Alphabet Angel” is a peaceful tune that makes you dreary, Sylvian’s outstanding vocals compliment the dreamy synths, but when you have epic, beautifully textured tracks such as “Krishna Blue” follow right after, it makes “Alphabet Angel” pale in comparison. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes there can be songs so good, they end up making others feel much weaker than they really are, slightly damaging the overall enjoyment value of the album.

Nevertheless, Dead Bees On A Cake is a marvelous record that shows how well David Sylvian is at molding himself to any genre he feels like doing. It’s surprisingly subtle and smooth, making it very easy to get into, and some of the tracks to be found here are simply beautiful. It’s a mesmerizing piece of music that certainly deserves a listen, and is something that would definitely make you more interested in the name David Sylvian.



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user ratings (48)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Supercoolguy64
July 9th 2015


8049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was a pleasant surprise for me, very happy i was assigned this

Digging: Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime

bakkermaarten007
July 9th 2015


5285 Comments


Always meaning to check something of his out. But I understand from this review he overlaps many genres, so a little hard to choose before. After reading your nice review, I think it'll be this one.

Supercoolguy64
July 9th 2015


8049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i've never heard of this dude b4, but this was realy good, def gonna check his other stuff out now

Final Origin
July 9th 2015


820 Comments


Good review dude, might check this one out from reading it.

deathschool
July 9th 2015


21896 Comments


Nice review. Posd. Umm. In the second paragraph you have a couple of weird fragments going on. You probably just accidentally plopped down a period.

"nine-minute number that includes. The funky guitars, mixed with the ringing synths"

Jasdevi087
July 9th 2015


4498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, already? Sick review dude, since you liked this so much, I'd suggest giving Secrets of the Beehive and Gone to Earth a spin if you're looking for more.

Supercoolguy64
July 9th 2015


8049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for pointing that out deathschool



thanks for the feedback everyone!

Gestapo
July 9th 2015


1287 Comments


sylvian is that Man

Fugue
July 9th 2015


7371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review man, just stuck to the main points without rambling - no tl;dr needed. I think I could learn a lot from that.



David Sylvian is amazing. This isn't quite as good as Secrets of the Beehive or Brilliant Trees but it's up there.

TwigTW
July 9th 2015


2696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review--can't imagine this album with any other singer. His voice is perfect for the music, and the music is perfect for his voice.

Digging: Mappe Of - A Northern Star, A Perfect Stone

Judio!
July 9th 2015


8401 Comments


Very well-written review dude. I'm intrigued.

Supercoolguy64
July 9th 2015


8049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks bruhs

NorthernSkylark
July 9th 2015


8664 Comments


i like sylvain and all but that's a really dumb album title

Digging: Cindy Lee - Act of Tenderness

deathschool
July 9th 2015


21896 Comments


It's avant-garde. You'll never understand, mom.

Gestapo
July 9th 2015


1287 Comments


his solo stuff is really cool but japan >>>>>

TheCrocodile
July 10th 2015


2787 Comments


Yeah Japan is sweet. Can't beat Beehive though...

Angelboros
June 26th 2016


1344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

A lot of marvelous compositions here. I definitely see myself coming back to Krishna Blue the most especially.

AnimalsAsSummit
June 26th 2016


2856 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

krishna blue is nuts, crazy dynamics. it sounds so massive. the last two songs are the nails in the coffin to my emotions tho rip hard

Digging: jpdreamthug - VELVET SAGE

RikRoach7
June 26th 2016


2464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I Surrender, Thalheim and Darkest Dreaming are my favorites on here. It's a great album but it drags on for too long at some places imo.

Tyler.
August 16th 2016


13460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

U go David



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