Friday, September 7, 2012

Another Green World - Brian Eno

Another Green World - Brian Eno
Rating: 12
"And I'll come running to tie your shoe"
Best Song: I'll Come Running
Worst Song: Sombre Reptiles

        The first of Eno's combinations of ambient and pop, Another Green World is often cited as his best album. I disagree, but that's beside the point, as it's still a rather good album...albeit a little uneven. You see, unlike in his magnum opus Before and After Science - Ten Pictures, he doesn't actually combine ambient and pop, per se. No, he just has an album combined of both ambient songs as well as pop songs. The genres themselves never actually cross paths.

        So is this a good or bad thing? I personally argue bad, actually. If you want to listen to it for some relaxing ambient music, it's a bit too exciting, and if you listen to it for some killer pop melodies, you'll get bored. However, the songs themselves are oftentimes excellent.

        As far as your ambient material goes, there's the jazzy "Over Fire Island", the abrasive "Sky Saw", the threatening "In Dark Trees", the becalmed "Becalmed"...the list goes on and on. But you see, like most ambient music, those tracks are merely okay. Nothing too special. However, one ambient track, in particular, stands out as the towering hero above all of these others. 

        I am speaking, of course, of "The Big Ship", which pretty much defines the word majestic. It's nothing more than a simple set of sorrowful synth/guitar lines over a simple rhythm, but they just keep building and building and BUILDING until they reach an emotional apex that relatively few pieces of music are able to climb to. Wow.

        And then we are rescued from all of this emotional turmoil with the best "pop" song on here, the beautiful love song "I'll Come Running", which features Eno sounding more passionate and in love than you could ever imagine him sounding...but in his own way, of course. The song's also got a great rolling piano line, to boot.

        Another pop highlight is "St. Elmo's Fire", which, in all honesty, pretty much defies all explanation as to what it actually sounds like. I can say, however, that it features an amazing Fripp guitar solo, a great melody, and some of the gosh-darned prettiest vocal harmonies I've ever heard. Another lyrical track is the beautiful, somber "Everything Merges with the Night", which comes very close to Before and After Science Side 2 territory, but nooot quite.

        That's all I've got for this one. I wouldn't get it first, but hey, it's an extremely solid album that's definitely worth hearing. There's a little filler, and the tracks don't mesh as well as I'd like them to, but quite a few ambient tracks are aces, and all of the vocal "pop" songs are awesome, per usual for SeƱor Eno. Get it.

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