Thursday, 12 September 2013

7 Inch singles collection: David Sylvian - Let The Happiness In

I promised you something mellower last time:


A-Side: Let The Happiness In
B-Side: Blue Of Noon
(Virgin 1987)

Now here's record that I don't think I've listened to since the day I purchased it.

Japan were a pretty good band in their day, and David Sylvian led them to a number of chart successes, but to my mind there music was a bit of an acquired taste. This too is much along the same path. I said it was mellow, and it its, perhaps mournful would be a better description. David desperately sounds as if he does need to Let The Happiness In, or he's going to throw himself off the harbour wall that he's singing about. Having said that the atmosphere created by the organs at the start of the song really does set the tone for the whole tune, and you can hear how well crafted this whole thing is. I just wish there was a little more bounce or swing to it.

Flipping the record we continue with the melancholy theme with an instrumental piano piece called Blue Of Noon. The feel of this tune is lighter and a bit more uptempo than the previous side, but ultimately it fades into the background, being unmemorable and not enough to grab my attention. Maybe this is the kind of music that you really need to sit down and listen to in a dark room in order to fully appreciate the craft of it.

I've used the word craft in descriptions of both A and B sides of this disc, which is probably sloppy writing on my part, but it echoes the overall impression that all lot of hard work by very skilled people has gone into the making of both these tunes to make them as perfect and as precise as they can be. This is the kind of record that you can admire at a distance rather than fully love. I get the feeling that if I gave the Let The Happiness In several more listens I would grow on me, and really get under my skin - but the trouble is that the first couple of listens doesn't give me the impetus or energy to go back and listen again.

Next time some punk poetry...

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