David Sylvian Everything and Nothing

David Sylvian's idea of a career retrospective is an in-depth, hands-on project that includes reworking and remixing old tracks, finishing and polishing off obscure, unreleased out-takes and gathering an unpredictable selection of tracks from his solo albums and collaborative projects. The result is a rich, expansive double-CD worth of material, 29 tracks that cover a 20-year period, from the final days of Japan in the early '80s to the present. Opening with a stunning, brand new single, "The Scent of Magnolia," which ranks among the strongest tracks on his most recent album, Dead Bees On A Cake, Everything and Nothing rejects the standard chronological order and focuses on singles that are standard to such compilations. Songs included here are taken from the widest range of sources and encompass collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Fripp, Nicola Alesini and Pier Luigi (the rare Marco Polo project), Mick Karn, and Bill Frisell, along with Japan, Rain Tree Crow and solo material. Not content to let older material stand the test of time, Sylvian has actually re-recorded the vocals for several older tracks, including the Japan classic "Ghosts," a dubious decision that will no doubt have fans in an uproar. The changes are mostly cosmetic, however, and the average listener probably wouldn't know the difference. Standout tracks that you probably won't find anywhere else include the new single "Ride" (an excellent atmospheric song from the Secrets of the Beehive sessions), the perplexing, bizarre '89 single "Pop Song," and the wonderful Mick Karn song, "Buoy." An astounding body of work that deserves such detailed assembly and presentation. (Virgin)