Saturday, July 21, 2007

327. Brian Eno - Another Green World (1975)

Track Listing

1. Sky Saw
2. Over Fire Island
3. St Elmo's Fire
4. In Dark Trees
5. Big Ship
6. I'll Come Running
7. Another Green World
8. Sombre Reptiles
9. Little Fishes
10. Golden Hours
11. Becalmed
12. Zawinful/Lava
13. Everything Merges With The Night
14. Spirits Drifting


So it's another Brian Eno album, and I am going to gush again so you can skip the review down to the 10/10 now if you want. I am such a Brian Eno fanboy it is not even funny. So, yes, Another Green World, Eno goes more seriously into the concept of ambient music than before, he wasn't the first, you had Tangerine Dream here doing ambient before, but you just need to listen to the two albums side by side to get an idea of qualitative difference.

Perfection is a difficult word to use to any music, but here each and every individual track is perfect, the sung tracks as well as the pure ambient tracks. This is not to say that the album gels perfectly, but that each little cell that composes it is a gem.

Interestingly Eno is not going for one kind of ambient in his music, this isn't composed of 20 minute long tracks of cold and snowy soundscapes, these are little vignettes of ambient, each creating a different mood and soundscape in your mind, actually it is quite easy to figure out what they are by the track titles, as the tracks do exactly what it says in the tin. In Dark Trees sounds like a dark forest at night, while actually having no captured sounds of birds or anything, it doesn't work at a cerebral level it just evokes that exact emotion of being in a dark forest at night, with a train whistling in the background.

This is beautiful, ground breaking and so expertly done that it is a mark of genius, this would be extensively influential and from the first second of the album in Sky Saw you can see where David Bowie will be getting his sounds later in the decade, with the help of Eno. One experience I had a few years ago was walking through the deserted streets of Evora, my home town, at night with this on my mp3 player, and you just look at everything differently, you feel like an alien just arrived here, it is eerie, and amazing. Oh and Sigur Ros made a whole career around The Big Ship as well, so get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. St. Elmo's Fire
2. The Big Ship
3. In Dark Trees
4. I'll Come Running

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Critically acclaimed, the album marks a fundamental shift in Eno's musical expression, farther away from conventional song structure than ever before, and increasingly bizarre and iconoclastic. This inevitably made the album less mainstream, and to some listeners less accessible, than his previous work.

The album has fourteen tracks and only five with vocals. Many of these tracks laid the foundation for Eno’s future ambient career. Much of the album is accented by a mixture of an array of sounds mixed in the far background. The musical textures have been cited as a significant influence on David Bowie's 'Berlin Trilogy' (1977-79), upon which Eno collaborated.

Though the album begins with a harsh, aggressive piece titled "Sky Saw", most of this album has a gentler approach than Eno’s previous works. The atmosphere is an unusual combination of whimsical humour and melancholy serenity, sometimes on the same track.

"St. Elmo's Fire," one of the tracks featuring Eno on vocals, showcases a guitar solo by Robert Fripp, frequently cited as one of the most melodic and beautiful of his career. In the liner notes for the track, Fripp is said to play the "Wimshurst guitar"; an example of Eno's use of descriptive names for instruments used - Eno likened Fripp's solo to the way sparks jump between the electrodes of the Wimshurst Machine generator. Elsewhere Fripp is described as playing "Wimborne guitar" on the track "Golden Hours," a joke on Fripp's birth in Wimbourne, England.

"Zawinul/Lava" is an instrumental piece with piano, fretless bass and percussion. It reflects a sparse, airy atmosphere similar to Eno’s later album Ambient 1/Music for Airports.

The title track is famous in the UK as the theme music for the BBC TV arts series Arena.

Pitchfork Media ranked the album number ten on their Top 100 Albums of the 1970s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 433 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

An Amateur Motion Sickness Video to the sound of St. Elmo's Fire:

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