Brian Eno

Record review

Phases & Stages

Brian Eno

Another Day on Earth (Opal/Ryko)

The old man has stolen the laptop: Brian Eno, who invented both ambient music and Moby, is back. He's lived in studios practically since leaving his mother's womb and has straddled a career going back to the early Seventies. On Another Day on Earth, his first album with vocals in almost two decades, Eno employs the same software as glitch-pop hero Kid606 to frame his warm, synthetic vocals. Like Pink Floyd's Roger Waters on a diet, Eno sings lustfully about big things ("And Then So Clear"). Opener "This" is one of the best tracks he's ever composed, with the crunchy beat sounding like post-rock band Subtle as Eno croons beautifully about growing old. Elsewhere, a lady whispers over wiggling synthesizers on "Going Unconscious" and similarly, talk of a "body, so thin, so tired, beaten for years" on "Bonebomb" finds Eno mastering melody, something most electronic musicians couldn't spell. Though various tracks meander ("A Long Way Down") or are just unlistenable ("How Many Worlds"), Eno demonstrates that he's the architect who built the house most electro geeks walk around in aimlessly.

***

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