the evenings out here - Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.

It’s Just Another Day On Earth

in Music , Friday, August 12, 2005

If I had been writing this stuff a decade or so ago, I suppose it would have had a much greater music related content. But these days what music I listen to is generally a matter between me and my iPod (note, just to make it clear that I am way ahead of the curve, I have a first generation iPod. A very early one. And the battery is just fine). Anyway. Perhaps I should rename this blog Recursive Digressions. eno.jpg The point of all this is to express my enthusiasm for the new release (what do you call them these days anyway? Albums? CDs? Works? Platters? Downloads? Bitstreams?) from Brian Eno, "Another Day On Earth". I have been a big fan of Brian Eno back since he was just called Eno, and I like pretty much everything he's done. But this, his first truly solo vocal work since 1978, is exceptional. To me it came as a complete surprise, I had no idea it was on the way. Like much Eno stuff it takes a little while to engage, but when it does, it is addictive. If I had to single out one highlight, it would have to be "Just Another Day". This has it all. Driving, catchy rythym, elegaic lyrics, wonderful ever so slightly detached singing, layer upon layer of sound sculpture, but essentially a classic pop song. This song shows Eno's ability to work at many levels simultaneously. The multi layered detail sets up an atmosphere that would fit happily on Before And After Science, but doesn't sound at all dated. It engages at all levels but never distracts from the song. The arrangements, whilst unique and intricately crafted, never become more important than the song, a trick few of his emulators have ever understood, let alone mastered. Eno's penchant for playing with dark, disturbingly ambiguous lyrics has not gone away either. Since he does retain his talent for being suggestive rather than specific, interpretation has as much to do with the listener as the artist. This particularly true on the last song, "Bone Bomb", where a passively intoned lyric could be easily interpreted as a meditation by a suicide bomber. Not that terrorism would be a new subject for Eno - he was already there in 1978 with RAF. Another Day on Earth is poetic, artistic, bursting with ideas, intellect, humour and above all humanity, all packaged up in fabulous songs.