Alternative music reviews

Silverman

Speed Of Life part 2 Sep 2002

Becoming familiar with a CD is a process which takes time. I learned my lesson a while ago that I shouldn't pass judgement after a couple of listens - especially when listening to something completely new. I first listened to this Silverman CD and thought - killer first track, great voice, but just too smooth for my taste. Two weeks later, I've changed my mind. This is an album full of passion, great songs, and slick sensitive production.

My moment of revelation came when I put the CD in my computer - I'd done this before and played the two videos on the computer section of the disk - but this time I just let it run. Up came an introduction screen and some music began. I just let it run, it began again, I listened again...and again. Sometimes you hear a song that just stops you in your tracks. From then on, I had an emotional attachment, and suddenly something I'd been listening to and enjoying all week began to really touch me.

Silverman are Anna Dennis and Martin Williams. Anna has a voice people would kill for - it's not the pretty, breathless (if a little weak) voice beloved of a number of indie bands but a pretty, powerful voice with range, character, and accomplished phrasing. The songs are honest and well crafted - but, for me, what turns Silverman from an earnest, quality band into something more is the musical arrangement - adding to a great voice is music which is understated but creates the atmosphere. Whether its just a quiet keyboard backing or distorted guitar, it introduces elements of strangeness, raunchiness, and, when it stops, peace.

As for detail of some of the individual tracks - Ctrl Alt Del has a wry similarity to Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue, it's that rarest thing of a great indie love duet. Secret Baby has wonderful squeaks and squelches from the synthesizer and stunning singing. Eleven Eleven doesn't work for me (just too much the sensitive singer-songwriter) until about 3 minutes in when suddenly it becomes something you wouldn't play to your parents. Can I Have My Heart Back Please is exactly what you would dream a song with a title like that would be - passionate, desolate, and emotional. Nothing I Do, Nothing I Say is a 7 minute piece of sadness which leaves you needing a hug.

Intense and satisfying.


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