INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Classic Pop JUNE/JULY 2016 - by Wyndham Wallace
BRIAN ENO: THE SHIP
Brian Eno is enjoying an invigorating renaissance. Some resent his role in Coldplay's continuing existence, while others consider him a mere ambient producer; though 2012's Lux offered seventy-five minutes of drifting meditation, his collaborations this last decade with David Byrne, Underworld's Karl Hyde and poet Rick Holland have flaunted his considerable musical range.
2005's fabulous Another Day On Earth found Eno singing again after two decades, and it's his voice that provides the spine to this remarkable four-track collection. The Ship began life as a gallery sound installation, but Eno's voice now floats, unmoored, throughout the title track's ghostly twenty minutes before drifting into Fickle Sun (i), its dramatic blasts of brass like threatening thunder. Peter Serafinowicz then arrives on Fickle Sun (ii) to recite two minutes of computer-generated poetry, but it's the cover of The Velvet Underground's I'm Set Free which steals the show: tenderly imbued with an astonishing sentiment that makes it perfect funeral accompaniment, it stands, quite simply, as five of the most poignant minutes ever recorded, The Ship's baritone multi-tracked to offer unforgettably moving gospel harmonies. For this alone, The Ship is, frankly, a masterpiece.