The concept of music and art stretches back to the early to mid 1960s, with themed albums being fairly commonplace. After the phenomenal success of The Beatles 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the rulebook for bands making Rock music was thrown away. Brian Eno follows in this artistic conceptual art tradition, and this album is seen as not just some fine artistry, but one of his best works during his career. Notably this album also has a number of guest musicians, such as Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Phil Collins (Genesis) and John Cale (The Velvet Underground) so it should be an interesting listen nonetheless. Still, how does it sound? Let’s find out.
We kick off with Sky Saw which begins with a semi-Jazz sort of groove with some absolutely amazing bass guitar playing. Some weird processed sounds enter, and this piece is not unlike proto-EDM in some ways. A really clever and excellent song, this sounds really artistic, Psychedelic and awesome, with many different tasty textures and wacky, wonderful sounds to listen to. Eventually in the middle, singing emerges which keeps this piece real. A really cool and awesome listen with backward harmonies as well, this is Progressive Rock for those who really dig avant-garde and audibly painted, like a picture. It wraps up with what sounds like electronic strings, mint.
Next here is Over Fire Island begins with basic background percussion and nimble bass guitar, before gongs and other sounds enter to illuminate this piece of music. Some interesting electronic sounds are here, along with some great sound effects, too. A bit like Jazz music for those who like artistic trips, a very good listen as well.
St. Elmo’s Fire comes next, beginning with some wacky percussion, old style boogie piano and some calm vocals here. This is amazing listening, and very artistic and meaningful here. Really awesome listening, this is exceptionally good. Very much like some Progressive Rock, there are some awesome guitar solos here, treated and shredded along nicely on this track. This is an amazing and awesome listen that sounds artistic and decent, all the way through to the fade out.
In Dark Trees is next here, with a faded intro that has some delayed sound effects and guitars here that are interesting and nicely layered up here. A very good piece of layered guitars that fit this album perfectly, this is very, very good. A fresh, intelligent and inspired listen, this is a must listen for any guitar player out there, it will change your perception of how a plugged in guitar should sound. Brilliant music here.
Next up is The Big Ship which begins with some interesting keyboard sounds that are clever and original, following by some instrumentation that is reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Time upon hearing it. A different and brilliant listen, this is the 1970s equivalent of EDM at its finest. A really clever, cool and inventive track that is completely different to most music out there, some electronic beeps and other sounds make this piece worth listening to. Some interesting guitar parts are here as well, which are innovative and different. Brilliant work by Brian Eno.
Following is I’ll Come Running which has joyful piano, some equally good guitar work and singing that is really infectious. A great and awesome piece about gazing through the window and other surrealistic pursuits, this is an amazing album to listen to. Many different and interesting of sections here and repeated lyrics are here about running to tie one’s shoes, this is really cool. A strange bluesy guitar solo enters here, before going back into the main song. Great artistry, and an ingenious listening experience that is artistic, surrealistic, original and different, this is a great listen for those who love music as art. Great piece of music. It fades out gently.
Another Green World is the title track, and begins very slowly, with piano and keyboard. It’s super short at under two minutes long, with some really amazing sounding guitar parts. The organs and bass playing are really great here, too. All in all, a nice sample of the music here. Great artistry.
Sombre Reptiles is a rather odd piece of music, with melancholy slide guitars, violins and some electronic mish-mash textures and beats. Once again, a very good listen to enjoy to, the music here is pretty timeless. It sounds fresh, artistic and different to most types of music out there. A really good effort, this sounds very original and without being a 20 minute long piece like most Progressive Rock of the time was. Awesome stuff to hear.
Next along is Little Fishes which has some odd sounds about it, with xylophone and a bunch of strange instruments, and some nicely played piano here. This is definitely oddball musically, and just sounds really fantastic to hear something completely different to what is usually served for a listen. Cool.
Following is Golden Hours which is the longest piece on this album, at the whopping length of four minutes long. It begins with keyboard textures that sound a bit like a video game, some guitar part fragments, clicking of drumsticks and other adventurous sounds here. A really cool piece of music, some singing eventually enters here and sounds awesome and terrific. Surely a great piece of music for Pink Floyd fans and the Progressive Rock fans who need a bit more artistic music here, it has a brief clean guitar solo that sounds wonderful. Really cool, there are some additional background harmonies as well which suit this piece marvelously. A great highlight from an album that is the musical equivalent of the best works by Pablo Picasso (no pun intended), this is a really fine listen. It fades out with a brief splash of violin. Excellent.
Becalmed is next, with a long intro that sounds like aerospace maneuvers, before some more simple piano melodies enter. This is a really cool listen, like much of the rest of the album. It comes across as an artisan’s paradise for sound. A strange, warped keyboard melody enters and this piece is another exploration into artistic sound. Very different, but worth hearing. A really cool piece of sonic meditation (for the purposes of it) which just sounds awesome. Great stuff. It sounds like a beautiful piece of relaxing artistry. Great piece, and very gentle listening here.
Zawinul/Lava begins as a lone piano piece that is gentle and profound. Shortly into it, some extra sounds, primarily bass guitar enter the scene, followed by keyboards. Some unusually mixed percussion also enters into here, sounding completely different to much music, even the other pieces on this album. A really timeless and wonderful effort, it has some strange screaming and wailing in the background here, before concluding. Different. It has a long fade out.
Next here is Everything Merges With The Night which has some interesting acoustic guitar parts and a piano piece as call-and-response, before some good singing enters. This is another decent piece of music here, and just sounds really awesome. With lyrical and artistic adventurous sounds, this is really fine sounding music. A really classy and awesome piece, with some very 1970s sounding guitar parts on a textural basis in the background, this is one of the better pieces from this album. Really cool listening, and sounding like as though Brian Eno was totally inspired throughout this album. The acoustic and electric guitars mesh nicely here, and this piece finishes up very gently.
The last track here is Spirits Drifting which begins with some rather interesting keyboard textures that are indescribably good. This continues on throughout the track, and is another piece you can close your eyes and meditate to, if you wish. Short, like many of the tracks here, but very, very rewarding. A great listen, which fades out nicely towards the end. Good album to hear.
This is no doubt a really excellent listen, although to be fair, this is not going to be everyone’s favourite sort of album with the artistry at hand here. Despite this being obviously highly wonderful and very good quality, there is a lack of Pop/Rock sensibility here which means that this is often overlooked. However, it still sounds amazing to this day and should be heard by fans of Art Rock in particular.
Pablo Picasso set to music.
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