“Another Green World”
Brian Eno dreaming of a tranquil scene
by Keith Purtell
Another Green World
With the opening chords of “Another Green World,” Englishman Brian Eno made a bold proposal to the listener; every preconception about music you have held should be set aside, and a new sound must be experienced entirely on its own merits. Anyone who has opened their heart and mind to this novel sonic adventure has been rewarded.
Eno's 1975 recording is nothing short of a revelation. From the very first chords, Eno challenges listeners to shed their preconceptions and start a journey of sonic discovery.
AGW is often odd but always potent. Its power lies in a heady mixture of implied imagery: gentle reverie on a summer afternoon, water scenes of a lagoon seen at night, the unearthly beauty of a permanently moonlit world. It is all the more remarkable that Eno was able to cultivate such exotica in the shade-tree calm of English domesticity.
There's a liquid quality to the whole thing. It's meditative like dozing outside, listening to the breeze, while the music does its gentle business.
The album's uniqueness lies in its ability to conjure a myriad of vivid mental images. It's as if Eno invites us to experience a gentle reverie, the ethereal beauty of a moonlit world, or the mysterious allure of a lagoon under the cover of night. Decide for yourself whether it's day or night in these songs.
What's truly remarkable is that Eno manages to craft such sensual terrain from the tranquility of everyday life.
Some instruments — bass, piano, drum, occasional voices — are individually recognizable, but the sonic whole merges into a heretofore unknown form. At other times, Eno uses Latin percussion that would have sounded hokey in anyone else’s hands. Here, it hypnotizes.
While some instruments and occasional voices are discernible, they seamlessly blend into a tapestry that defies categorization. Eno's relaxed mastery shines throughout.
AGW doesn’t really sound like electronic music, at least not like electronic music attempted by most other musicians. Songs like “I’ll Come Running,” “Sombre Reptiles” and “Zawinul/Lava” often contain what seem like snippets of sound from an old science-fiction film, yet any humor is slyly woven into the remaining rather introspective effect. Eno’s domain is very impressionistic; the use of vibrato and reverb, the reedy textures, the lonely piano notes, all seem like intimate images.
AGW occupies a psychic niche where composition, arrangement and performance are seamlessly united. Marvelously evocative; it truly is another world. (Robert Fripp adds hauntingly beautiful guitar runs to several tracks, and Phil Collins is percussionist/drummer.)
In conclusion, "Another Green World" stands as a testament to Brian Eno's boundless creativity. It's an album that challenges and rewards in equal measure, inviting us to uncharted territories of sound.
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