Blemish - David Sylvian
Blemish Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Sylvian's first studio recording since 1999's 'Dead Bees on a Cake' is much darker and more spare than that recording. The former Japan leader is joined by guitarists Derek Bailey and Christian Fennesz on several tracks.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. A work of beautiful, desolate fragility.
  2. 80
    An extremely moving and potentially radical record. [Sep 2003, p.99]
  3. 70
    Faced with conventional, if not threadbare, tunes, Sylvian becomes grand in comparison, humming and mumbling through the subtlest opera of tweaked, quaking noises. [#60, p.117]
  4. 70
    Much sparser and looser than we are used to from David Sylvian. [Sep 2003, p.101]
  5. Blemish is not sadness or happiness; it is strange observation and relapse.
  6. His heart-on-a-sleeve earnest emotionalism falls short of being impressive. [#5, p.116]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. SimonT
    Aug 21, 2005
    10
    It's sad, and odd, that even some admirers of Sylvian have struggled with this record, which, for me, far from being weak or indulgent, It's sad, and odd, that even some admirers of Sylvian have struggled with this record, which, for me, far from being weak or indulgent, is emphatically his masterpiece. Blemish has revitalised my long-held, but recently waning interest in the man because it is so much more vivid, bold and focussed than anything that precedes it - and especially when compared with the tasteful bloat of Dead Bees On A Cake. It's not uncommon for an artist with a 20 year career to claim that a record is a re-invention or a revitalisation, but rare for it to be true. With Blemish, Sylvian has publicly made no such claims, but they would be entirely justified. I've lived with this record for a year or more now, and love it more than ever. Expand
  2. georgedim
    Jun 1, 2004
    10
    masterpiece
  3. ToilingMidget
    Dec 12, 2003
    9
    Radical fragility from Herr Sylvian. Frequently beautiful. Something like Bjork's 'Vespertine', written from a man coming to Radical fragility from Herr Sylvian. Frequently beautiful. Something like Bjork's 'Vespertine', written from a man coming to terms with the finite nature of existence, (musically) directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Expand
  4. RobR
    Feb 18, 2005
    4
    It's his weakest recording to date. Far too self indulgent - something which comes about because he's working with much less It's his weakest recording to date. Far too self indulgent - something which comes about because he's working with much less contribution from other musicians than normal. He's at his strongest when guiding a cohort of great musicians, as demonstrated on Secrets of the Beehive, Dead Bees on a Cake, Gone to Earth ..... in fact, ALL his other 'solo' efforts. Expand