Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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musicOMH OCTOBER 14, 2022 - by Ben Devlin

BRIAN ENO: FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE

An engaging, expansive and thought-provoking album with unpretentious vocal delivery, a mix of organic instrumentation and ethereal synthplay

At this point the career of Brian Eno to date would need a few hundred words to summarise, but his new release continues in the vein of his past few years' work - utilising his unpretentious vocal delivery, a mix of organic instrumentation and ethereal synthplay, and a sense of tranquility that envelops most of this project.

FOREVERANDEVERNOMOREE opens with the reverb-laden guitar figure of Who Gives A Thought, with Eno's contemplative lyrics ringing out over an ambient soundscape ("Who gives a thought about the nematodes / there isn't time these days for microscopic worms / or for unstudied germs of no commercial worth"). Fans of Eno's electronic material will be pleased to note there isn't a beat in sight, and for all his reputation as a pioneer he isn't above using loops in a manner reminiscent of his late '70s work, such as Inclusion's piercing synth passage.

However, one of the album's highlights is far removed from the abstract arrangements Eno is known for, as These Small Noises unfurls its arpeggaic piano and sombre vocal tone in a baroque style. The vocoded harmonies are a nice touch, and as the piano gives way to warm pads it evokes memories of Vangelis or Isao Tomita in their prime. Meanwhile Garden Of Stars goes for a more ominous approach, flapping tones and rumbling bass leading to a discordant, glitchy climax, and There Were Bells pairs the record's most beautiful songwriting with birdsong and gentle chords.

Closing track Making Gardens Out Of Silence is a weaker point, as while the gradual structure is firmly in Eno's comfort zone the time-stretched auto-tuned vocals are distinctly unappealing and drag the track down. It doesn't cancel out the previous thirty-five minutes of material though, and FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE remains an engaging, expansive and thought-provoking album.


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