Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno

Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno (1974)
Rating: 13
"Oh, what could be my destiny / Another rainy day"
Best Song: Needles in the Camel's Eye
Worst Song: Driving Me Backwards

       So a young man by the name of Brian Eno decides to quite the band Roxy Music and strike out on his own as a solo artist. This here is the first album of his decade-spanning (and revolutionary) career, and it is most certainly one of his best. Incredibly interesting and entertaining, Warm Jets just might be the greatest debut album ever. Yeah, I'm saying that, and anyone that wants to present a better one -- be my guest. (OK, The Clash. I'll give you The Clash.) (Oh, and The Ramones. I'll give you The Ramones.) (OK, and...alright, it's not the best debut album ever, but it is one of the best!)
        We start out with an absolutely awesome album opener in "Needles in the Camel's Eye", which has what is quite possibly the catchiest melody ever. Sure, it's just the same phrase repeated over and over, but that phrase is just SO catchy that it's completely irresistible. The song also features a fantastic instrumental start-and-stop break, as well as some completely indecipherable lyrics. Fun stuff.
        Following "Needles" we have "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch", which is quite possibly the greatest song title ever devised by mortal man. "Blowtorch" also features Eno's most over the top vocal performance ever AND an absolutely insane "solo" which features strange cartoon-y blips and bloops played over an awesome Phil Manzenera-produced guitar riff. Then Eno gives us the wonderful "Baby's On Fire" which features, yet again, an extremely silly (but catchy!) vocal melody. However, after about a minute and a half of vocals, the song turns into a Robert Fripp guitar solo that will MELT YOUR FACE with its ferocity.
        Also on the first side is "Cindy Tells Me", which is essentially what would happen if you combined The Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" with a 50s doo-wop ballad, and yes, it's as awesome as it sounds. Sadly, the first side ends on a rather sour note with "Driving Me Backwards", which is an overlong, "menacing" song that is...well, rather annoying. Eno completely overworks his voice while trying to be "spooky", and while I get the fact that the song is supposed to be kind of silly, his singing on here just irritates me to no end. However, immediately following "Driving", we get...
       ...the jaw-droppingly gorgeous "On Some Faraway Beach". At first, "Beach" seems relatively simple and repetitive, as it mainly consists of the same two piano notes repeated over and over again, all the while accompanied by a backup choir. However, as the song goes on, more and more synth loops are introduced. Eventually, the once empty-sounding song sounds completely full, almost over-produced. But as soon as the synth lines start to get a bit overbearing, Eno comes in and begins singing heartbreaking lyrics about suicide to an absolutely amazing melody. The song then slowly fades back out until nothing is left but the main piano line from the beginning of the song. The main piano line then leads into "Blank Frank", one of the most hilariously ugly songs ever devised by modern man. However, unlike "Driving Me Backwards", "Blank Frank" actually has some cool guitar riffs and a nifty vocal melody that counteracts the "ugly-ness"of the singing. I'm still not a big fan of the song, though.
        We then get the decent "Dead Finks Don't Talk". The verses are quite dull, but the chorus is catchy enough to keep the song at a level of decency. There are also some neat chants and such, so yeah. It's alright. After "Dead Finks" is "Some of Them are Old", a ballad that features a great vocal melody that's repeated for a little over a minute. After that comes 2 or 3 minutes of boring improvisation on what sounds like a Japanese koto, or some such. The original melody is then repeated once more. Again, it's just alright. Thankfully, the album ends on a good note with the title track, which is a neat instrumental that's kind of a slightly weaker version of "On Some Faraway Beach".
        And that, my friends, is Here Come the Warm Jets. As you can see, I vastly prefer the first side to the second, but in all honesty, the second really isn't that bad. It's just...alright, as I've stated several times before. Anyway, I think that this is a must buy album, so go get it! And...that's the best ending I can come up with. MY, MY, MY!!!!!!

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