Friday, November 13, 2009

Brian Eno 3: Another Green World

With his third album, Eno truly hit on a combination that encapsulated his legacy. Another Green World contains not only futuristic pop songs, but several vocal-less tracks that spotlight the “textures” that would make him a producer in demand. While some famous friends—like John Cale, Robert Fripp and Phil Collins—are on hand to add to the sonic picture, Eno is responsible for most of the instruments, many listed in the credits more for their descriptive qualities than their actual names. When there are vocals, the lyrics are more minimal and simplistic, for lack of a better term, than ever.
Those tracks with vocals are all winners. “Sky Saw” sports a repetitive riff that sounds like its title, and two sets of vocals. “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Golden Hours” are impenetrable but fascinating. “I’ll Come Running” is the closest thing in his canon to a love song; who wouldn’t fall for someone pledging to tie your shoes? “Everything Merges With The Night” nearly ends the proceedings with another calm sensation, but for the actual finale.
But in between, the instrumentals provide counterpoints all the way through. In most cases, the tracks fade in as well as out, giving the impressions that we’ve either happened upon them, or perhaps they’re passing by us. The mysterious “In Dark Trees”, in particular, is juxtaposed with the grand “The Big Ship” for some widely diverse moods. The title track is absolutely gorgeous and far too short. “Little Fishes” and “Becalmed” are extremely accurate titles, while “Sombre Reptiles” and “Over Fire Island” are suggestive in their own way. “Zawinul/Lava” nods at the jazz keyboard legend, mixing simple piano lines over a quiet rhythm section and what sound like animal shrieks. And instead of the calm mentioned earlier, the “Spirits Drifting” in the closing track don’t seem at all benign.
So wherever this green world is, the space music provided on this album seems fitting. Another Green World covers all the bases, and nothing else in his discography matches it. So it’s a great place to start, but you won’t find anything else like it in the catalog.

Eno Another Green World (1975)—4


  1. "You won’t find anything else like it in the catalog." - sadly, this is true, though I'd like to point you in the direction of Cluster's Soweisoso, which takes a similar direction, which is not surprising, given the pretty thick connection that ran between Cluster and Eno.

  2. Thanks Nick -- I will definitely have to find that!