Another Green World

Eno, Brian

album cover

Another World, for Real

Prepare to enter the Enosphere. In this place, the everyday trappings of pop music—clock-punching rhythm guitars, hammering drums—operate according to a different logic. The composer, producer, conceptualist, and contrarian Brian Eno has his own philosophies of sound and the spatial relationships between sounds; his music is lush, layered, yet throughout clarity is prized over clutter. Eno has explored these notions of sound on a series of slow-moving instrumental records he describes as "ambient" (he's often credited with coining that term; one example is Music for Airports, see next page). He's refined them through his productions for David Bowie, U2, and others. On Another Green World, one of his most influential "pop" collections, he shows how these concepts can spark shadowy, rivetingly unusual music. It's Eno in digest form.

Eno music feels like it was created in all-consuming dream states—it doesn't assault as much as envelop its listeners, swirling around like mist. In the sound-scapes of this classic, Eno positions ritualistic hand-drum patterns next to eerie wind-blown synths, then lets them drift along, until their coexistence seems somehow natural. Some pieces seem inspired by surreal visual images, à la Magritte; on the vivid "Sky Saw" and "In Dark Trees," each instrumental event, right down to the last stray chime, is placed exactingly to enhance Eno's overall effect.

It's not easy to lure people into such an abstract place, and even more difficult to keep them there. A secret of Another Green World is its captivating sequence: The majestic instrumentals evoke areas of vast oceanic beauty, and just when Eno's fully exhausted them, they fade away, eclipsed by tightly focused, if not always overtly catchy, songs with words. This flowing structure gives the album a pleasant journeying quality, as Eno provides listeners not just with outright thrills, but moments of deep soothing calm to recover from them.

Genre: Rock
Released: 1975, EG
Key Tracks: "In Dark Trees," "Sky Saw," "Little Fishes," "St. Elmo's Fire."
Catalog Choice: Before and After Science; Here Come the Warm Jets
Next Stop: Peter Gabriel: Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ
After That: Jon Hassell: Power Spot
Book Pages: 258–259

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#1 from Geoff Daniels, Malvern, PA - 09/21/2008 2:21

I am so glad that you chose to include this record in your valuable list.  It would definitely be in my Top 25 list.  The tune and lyrics of “I’ll Come Running” are so infectious, no one can resist singing them even before the end of their first listening.  I’ve been such a huge Brian Eno fan since his first record.  In addition to the records in your Catalog Choice, I would highly recommend that everyone give a listen to “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)”.

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