As the name of the album suggests (IV), it is the fourth studio length under the band’s name, and the second, with Aviv playing the more major role. Here he has aimed to mix up genres, thereby appealing to a wider fan base whilst retaining the typical Blackfield sound. Indeed, he did succeed. The album begins with a beautiful clean guitar intro, with vocals reminiscing that of Porcupine Tree. The lyrics being impressive, as it’s about how mechanised we’re getting, and there’s a pill to wash away every type of stress which eventually desensitizes you. Thought provoking indeed. A typical, and brilliant start to the album. The song ends with an echoing voice and a fast paced rock sound. So much into the first track, and I really don’t see the big fuss? All the way into the album, and I can’t find one thing wrong. Maybe there is less of a Steven Wilson feel, but to state the obvious, there is more of Geffen’s skills at work, and they are bloody commendable. From beautiful keys, to some thought provoking, melancholic lyrics, from soothing acoustic passages to splendid vocal melodies, this album has it all packed up like a dynamite.
The two main X factors of this album are the vocal melodies and the keys/synths. Yes, the rest of the instruments are wonderful, but these two aspects gives Aviv his own identity in the band, which was slightly overshadowed by Wilson, before. Like, ‘Springtime’ has some beautiful keys to blend with its sorrowful background. In fact, songs like ‘Firefly’ and ‘Jupiter’ treats your ears with both, great vocal melodies, and calming keys with Fireflies, being a perfect song to call it a night, and Jupiter, carrying the typical Blackfield sound. ‘Kissed by the Devil’ almost felt like a tribute to the indie rock band, The Smiths. For the vocals were almost as haunting as Morrissey’s. ‘Sense of Insanity’ is another track off of the 11 track record that I really enjoyed. It’s a song about how the singer has failed to live up to his mother’s dreams of him, and how his life is now like walking on glass. The singer seems religious, thereby praying, holding an ancient bible, looking for sense in this insane world. Another impressive set of lyrics. The rest of the songs are pretty much normal alternative rock songs with a pop/post-rock twist to it. While a part of me was still screaming for more music than the mere one minute over half an hour, the last song left me more than just satisfied. Aviv here has shown us how even the simplest of songs can make a big impact on you. What a brilliant way to end a great album. ‘The Only Fool is Me’, begins with some soothing acoustic licks that carries out, changing all throughout the short song. It is about a hopeless romantic, something every one of us were, at some point of our lives. With simple, yet moving lyrics, and the benchmark Blackfield musical, there couldn’t be a better end to this short and sweet album.
I frankly couldn’t care less about what others say, because I absolutely loved the album. I’m listening to it as I write this review, and I will listen to it quite a few more times. Steven’s guitar work on ‘Pills’ and ‘Jupiter’ is enjoyable to say the least. The other guest artists didn’t really make quite an impact in my opinion, as they featured in most of the songs I found just ordinary. This is no perfect album, there never really is one, is there? There’s always scope for learning and improvement. We’re all just explorers in this endless sea of music. Which brings to me, I’ll easily put this album down as almost flawless. Kudos to Aviv Geffen. I have enjoyed all the Blackfield albums, and I hope to enjoy more. If smooth, soft, profound, non-generic yet simple rock music that entices you with positive vibes is what you’re looking for, then this is your album. Blackfield is as black as black can get, even without Steven Wilson. Period. Haha.