INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Rolling Stone DECEMBER 29, 1994 - by Paul Evans
JAMES: LAID/WAH WAH
It was, to borrow Eno's own phrase, an "oblique strategy". Career avant-gardist, ambient pioneer and sui generis producer and musical director, Eno coaxed the most from this Manchester, England, sextet - alternating shifts in two studios, they recorded two albums. Laid (from late '93) is the (relative) crowd pleaser - seventy minutes of intelligent, moody pop songs. Singer Tim Booth, an avid practitioner of disciplined meditation, is intriguing, his lyrics poetic and suggestive. And the band consists of clean, refined players of the sort who benefit most from Eno's ingenious tinkerings: washes of sound, texture galore. With Wah Wah, sound itself rules. Bum The Cat, Arabic Agony and Low Clouds are closer to Eno's own oeuvre - aural watercolours in muted but arresting colors.