Blackfield - Blackfield II

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Snapper
Catalog Number: SMACD900
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:35:00

When Aviv Geffen and Steve Wilson initially teamed up, it was the idea to release a single. That was it. Then the single became an EP and before they knew it the debut album was a fact. There was no idea to turn Blackfield into something permanent, yet the collaboration between Wilson and Geffen went so well, so natural, that it kind of became obvious that this would last longer than a one night stand! Because Aviv Geffen is regarded in Israel in the same way David Bowie is in England, the media soon followed every single detail where Blackfield is concerned. High ratings in the charts and numerous radio and TV appearances in Israel resulted in a first tour, whilst Steve and Aviv knew that Blackfield would continue as soon as both of them had a string of free dates they could devote to writing and recording. The result is the astonishing new album aptly called Blackfield II.

Steve doesn't believe in the maximum length of a CD: "I don't think people can put their attention towards a piece of music which lasts for eighty minutes," he says. "That's why I think a good forty minutes of new music is ideal to keep the listener interested throughout." Forty minutes of new Blackfield material results in ten new songs, the perfect amount to digest in one single go. However once you've tasted this new Blackfield recording, you will be disappointed that there are "only" ten new songs because each and every one of them is simply brilliant! The line-up is pretty much the same as on the first album but the string section is much bigger resulting in a much warmer sound.

Whilst Porcupine Tree has become the format where longer and heavier tracks are what is expected by the fans, Blackfield tends to concentrate more on compact songs based on super strong melodies. Believe it or not but Blackfield attracts a fair amount of female admirers, which kind of sums up the accessible nature of the material. It must have been an impossible task to pull a single out of these ten new recordings, as every tune has single quality. Opener "Once" sets the right tone with an uplifting atmosphere and great hooks. A subtle acoustic approach puts "1000 People" in a completely different league, although once again made out of the right ingredients to please even the most demanding music lovers.

With the voice of Steve Wilson omni-present throughout the entire album it looks like the role of Aviv Geffen is not as important, however when you listen to "Miss U," it is his unique timbre that makes this yet another fantastic song! The lyrics are also very transparent, such as "Christenings," which contains another superb and catchy melody, making it once again damned difficult to pick out a favourite. The piano is the heart and soul of "Epidemic," which in combination with the strings delivers a not so evident build up. The soft storytelling voice of Steve Wilson gets all of our attention when "My Gift Of Silence" delivers yet another incredible arrangement filled with lush violins and a great melody.

It looks like the duo Wilson/Geffen has such a great effect on each other that ideas and melodies pop up without the slightest problem. "Where Is My Love" for me is the strongest, most catchy tune on this album, combining a powerful contemporary rhythm with soft acoustic passages. In a similar way "End Of The World" closes the album and could well become a Blackfield anthem in years to come. Already after hearing this one for the very first time, people would sing along the chorus as it's so catchy.

Blackfield II doesn't contain one weak moment and illustrates the craftsmanship of both Steve Wilson and Aviv Geffen, two young men with a different background and culture who have found the perfect way of working together. Now if people all around the world could adapt the same attitude, we might get rid of armies, tanks and missiles. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to send a copy of this remarkable album to the White House? Would make a great header in the papers too: "Blackfield in the White House"!

Once / 1000 People / Miss U / Christenings / This Killer / Epidemic / My Gift Of Silence / Some Day / Where Is My Love? / End Of The World

Aviv Geffen - vocals
Steve Wilson - everything you can think of

Blackfield (2004)
Blackfield II (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VA

Added: March 19th 2007
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1774
Language: english


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