Dead Bees On A Cake
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Dead Bees On A Cake by David Sylvian
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Perhaps the finest achievement of David Sylvian’s enigmatic career, Dead Bees on a Cake represents a graceful personal and spiritual exploration. Set to a lush, ethereal, engaging bed of distinctive and sophisticated pop arrangements, it combines the best qualities of Sylvian’s post-Japan work. Four years in the making, it is artful and tasteful from the opening Bryan Ferry-style ballad “I Surrender” to the bluesy “Midnight Sun” and the delightful “Krishna Blue.” There are contributions from sometime collaborator Ryuichi Sakamoto as well as a classy, eclectic group of musicians including Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Talvin Singh, and Sylvian’s brother, Steve Hansen, but Sylvian is definitely in the fore here. Dead Bees on a Cake will be a surprising discovery for fans of Sade, John Martyn, and the Blue Nile, and it may afford Sylvian overdue recognition as an uncommonly gifted pop composer and singer. –John Sutton-Smith