Friday, February 6, 2009

BQRH #11: "Wave" (David Sylvian and Robert Fripp)

Hello, everybody:

As we approach Valentine's day, I will try to keep up with the romantic themes. Tonight I wanted to present you with one of my most worthwhile personal musical discoveries of 2007: the Sylvian/Fripp collaboration.

Well, I had already become a Robert Fripp fan via King Crimson long before, and by 2007 I was beginning to discover Bob's solo career. One day, I found two discs filed under Robert Fripp/David Sylvian at the local CD store: "The First Day" and "Damage". Clueless about this Mr. Sylvian, I bought the CDs anyway, and when I got home, I was hit by the beauty and quality of the music, in particular the absolutely earth-shattering vocal delivery courtesy of David.

So, after some brief research, I learned that Sylvian was the leader, vocalist and writer of a new wave group called Japan, and when they broke up, he began a successful solo career. One of his landmark solo albums from the 80's, "Gone To Earth", featured contributions from Mr. Fripp.

Moving forward to the early 90's, David was approached by Bob Fripp in order to make him the new vocalist of a reformed Crimson. Sylvian's voice is highly seductive, with a definite sexiness and silky quality that makes girls melt, and guys dream about having such pipes.

But as history would tell us, Sylvian rejected the offer, and in lieu of participating in such a King Crimson reunion, Sylvian and Fripp got together and released this pair of majestic albums, where in particular "Damage" is a true masterpiece of intelligent pop music, with the freshness of a live performance of a group of virtuous musicians all playing in tight connection.

The song featured here is called "Wave", and is included on "Damage", as well as on Sylvian's "Gone To Earth". A lovely romantic song, performed with a feel which in some senses was a precursor to Crimson's "One Time" from their 1994 "Vrooom" EP single. This version was recorded in Tokyo, and showcases the same band that performed on "Damage": Fripp on lead guitar, Sylvian on guitar and keyboards, plus future King Crimson members Pat Mastelotto (drums) and Trey Gunn (stick), and also featuring luthier Michael Brook on his "infinity guitar."

About the song itself, it must be among the most beautiful the pair perfomed during the collaboration. The hypnotic electronic soundscaping serves as platform for an achingly touching set of lyrics that refer to dreams, love, passion and commitment.

Look at the small sample of the verses below:

"It seems that I remember / I dreamed 1,000 dreams: / We'd face the days together / no matter what they'd bring; / A strength inside like I'd never known, / opened the door to life and let it go."
"I'll run to you / nothing stands between us now / Nothing I can lose / This light inside can never die; / Another world just made for two / I'll swim the seas inside with you / and like the waves, without a sound / I'll never let you down"
"A hilltop paved with gold, / we shut our eyes and made / the promises we hold; / a will to guide and see us through; / I'd do it all again because of you"

And do not miss the passionate coda "I'd tear my very soul to make you mine", crowned by Fripp's ondulating electric guitar solo. Not your run-of-the-mill love song in any case.

What kind of idealistic man wouldn't want to express such feelings to his beloved lady? And what kind of girl wouldn't surrender to such a partner?

Hope you enjoy this as much as I always do...

Love is real, real is love,

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to comment on my own post, but I can't resist this song. Days after adding it to the blog, I can't help listening over and over again to this everyday on my way to and from campus.

    When I get married, this is one of the songs I will sing to my wife during the reception.

    Moreover, the "I'd tear my very soul to make you mine" coda sends shivers down my spine.... Oh-so poignant.

    I am helpless....

    What are your feelings when you listen to this? Please feel free to comment.