see also... Brian Eno
It doesn't seem like anything special at first. Most of these songs plod along at a slow walking pace, with only one or two chords, not seeming to do very much. But often with music like this it ends up getting under the skin. The production is tasteful and cleanly unpretentious, and these songs shuffle around in subtly unpredictable ways.
John Cale's deep baritone and Eno's slightly nasal voice complement each other nicely, sometimes singing in harmony. Cale sings the muttering "In the Backroom", and the slightly sinister but gently beautiful "Cordoba". There's hints of Scott Walker in his voice. It was Eno's first vocal album since the 1970's, and there are hints of his 70's sideways pop sound on breezy songs like the "Empty Frame" and "Lay My Love". The latter has peculiar lyrics like "I am the termite of temptation". Most memorable is the chanting swirl of "Spinning Away".
It seems to lose focus later on, with some songs that are a bit too casual and throwaway, like the computer-game sounding "Been There Done That" and the OMD-like synth-pop of "Footsteps". The Elvis-like dirge "The River" is far too plodding for my interest, although that might have worked on a soundtrack to a David Lynch movie.
May 3, 2004