By Yann Tiersen
Yann Tiersen releases his latest offering Skyline in the wake of Dust Lane an album which very much combined a musical soundscaping with a popular music style, something Tiersen is synonymous for and something continued in this record. Using the instruments of the rock and pop worlds Tiersen perilously sculpts away at a big musical stone fashioning it into an image around what we might see as a concept.
Skyline is full of compositions and songs that suggest a manner of meanings to the title Skyline, whether it be the recreation of sounds that are similar to planes taking off or ethereal cloud -light melodies placed in a high texture that ascend the record to a level where gravity may not exist.
Another Shore opens the album with sounds that my ears can't help but hear, airport terminal noises in as the rock band is used as the tools for an architecture of sound that one can seek out many a metaphor or reality in. I found it most useful to be travelling when listening to this record as the sounds seem to accompany motion with ease and as I moved from station to station on the train, I found it reflect and sympathise with the passage from urban to rural.
The record wants you to explore how to merge spots of colour into an image you can create and connect with whilst being placed inside such a broad scope of musical ideas. 'Forgive Me' is full of urgency and tension while grasping onto an undertow of hope with wild-western sounding electric guitars placing thematic concepts as the voice enters as an instrument to Tiersen, who uses the medium in a beguiling manner as a choir chants 'Forgive Me' but you still feel this isn't a created piece of mass orchestral scale.
The highlight of the album is 'Monument' which feels like the single of the record as it falls in a conventional format and is nothing but a song decorated with bells that are reminiscent of Tibet which lyrics sing of 'floating in space' with space being an extreme limit reached after the skyline. The vocals are treated with an effect. We are invited to float with the ethereal texture created at the instrumental section which procured as a point of space and breathing before going through some vocals to dwindle into the expanses of the galaxy with synthesised noises of satellites.
After a few listens I get this record and what it is trying to get the listener to do. I feel like one can be inside the music and create an individual unique journey through it. A mixture of instrumental compositions and songs make for a record that is innovative and wonderful to the ears. Tiersen does not disappoint.