When you bring Steven Wilson into question , you always expect very high quality music in whatever he does and this album is no different but with some exceptions . Blackfield , a music project formed by the iconic Porcupine tree frontman Steven Wilson and the immensely talented Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen some 15 years back will release their fifth studio album ” BLACKFIELD – V ” worldwide on the 10th of February , 2017 via Kscope records. The album is produced by the Legendary Alan Parsons.
The album’s artwork photography comes from long time collaborator Lasse Hoile with design courtesy of Carl Glover.
The fifth album by the duo is centred around abstract feelings of calmness with a singular oceanic theme attached to it . The album should not be compared to its early predecessors like “Blackfield ” or ‘ Blackfield 2 ” at all , nor should there be comparison between Wilson’s and Geffen’s solo work with the album . This album is different . By different i mean with disparate qualities .
The intro ” A drop in the Ocean ” is an orchestrated ensemble which acts a s a teaser to the rest of the songs , as if asking you to settle down to take pleasure in the album which is to follow .” Family Man ” has all the insignia of Wilson in it , infact more Wilson than Blackfield . The riffs are intense with satisfying hooks at the end .
” How was your ride ” so much feels like Riverside (in a good way though) . It instantly hooks up and Wilson’s prowess is evident in the song . How to make a song simple yet majestic ? Thats’ Wilson and Geffen for you . The solo feels a lot Pink Floyd-ish but all in all this song makes you smile , smile like a child .
Geffen lends his voice to ” We’ll never be apart ” which surprises you when it comes to Geffen’s singing . He sounds much relaxed and into it than he sounded few albums ago. His voice though has always been brilliant and most times have overshadowed Wilson’s . The song though is an average number , a been there done that feel to it .
” Sorrys ” is forgettable but ” Life is an Ocean ” will leave you feeling good again. Geffen sounds best on this one. The song fits the bill of the theme beautifully with some great fillers towards the end.
What follows next is mostly average but then there are pieces of briliance here and there in tracks like ” October” and very bluesy ” The Jackal ” while ” Undercover Heart ” does a good enough job of making you keep listening to the album. The female harmonies are well executed and feels really fresh ” Lonely Soul ” could be missed altogether . Doesn’t fit in the album even though it might be a apart of the whole theme.
But when you think its all over , Mr Wilson gives you ” From 44 TO 48 ” , the best track in the album by a long way , possibly a classic in the making . If someone told you to listen to this track without giving you an idea as to who the artist is , you would more often than not say ” STEVEN WILSON ” . It has all the SW stamp to it and in its inner depths touches a big part of your soul too . It reminded me so much of ” Galapagos” by Smashing Pumpkins here and there but the sheer brilliance of the song cannot be overlooked . Singing about his life in years , this song alone elevates the album to a pedestal high enough to feel happy about.
Blackfield V is good in its own sweet way , but not the best by any stretch of imagination . It has some great music and has some forgettable tracks too . All in all though the album should be a treat to SW fans more than Blackfield’s !!!
Blackfield V tracklisting:
- A Drop in the Ocean (1.23)
- Family Man (3.37)
- How Was Your Ride? (3.58)
- We’ll Never Be Apart (2.54)
- Sorrys (2.58)
- Life is an Ocean (3.26)
- Lately (3.24)
- October (3.31)
- The Jackal (3.56)
- Salt Water (2.39)
- Undercover Heart (4.02)
- Lonely Soul (3.42)
- From 44 to 48 (4.31)
Blackfield V will be released on the following formats:
· 2 disc – CD / Blu-Ray – presented in a deluxe media book with the Blu-Ray offering audiophiles a listening experience second to none, with the album in high resolution stereo and 5.1 surround sound. Includes a 36 page colour booklet
· Double 180g heavyweight LP – cut at 45 rpm and presented in gatefold packaging with a four page booklet and a free mp3 download.
· CD – digipack CD
· LP Picture Disc –a Limited Edition single disc 140g vinyl with MP3 download, highlighting the stunning Lasse Hoile artwork
Reviewed by – Ashiqur Rohman