To Space and Back Again
Brian Eno, the man who blazed a trail for avant-garde pop, post-punk, and ambient music in the mid-70s, is back with his first â€šÃ„Ãºvocalâ€šÃ„Ã¹ album in over 20 years. Another Day On Earth recalls the meticulous nature of Enoâ€šÃ„Ã´s ambient-pop opus Another Green World. â€šÃ„ÃºGoing Unconsciousâ€šÃ„Ã¹ drifts like an ocean of electronic sound, while the vocals, spoken by a mysterious female voice, struggle to remain above the surface. An unusual and circular structure makes up the wonderful â€šÃ„ÃºHow Many Worlds.â€šÃ„Ã¹ It begins as an ethereal folk ditty, then slowly launches into orbit with serene, kaleidoscopic sounds, and finally lands down safely on earth in its original form.
The opening track, â€šÃ„ÃºThis,â€šÃ„Ã¹ is the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s only semi-upbeat pop song. The music seems to fall in line with the likes of Boards of Canada or Lali Puna. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s a great song, but it feels detached from the rest of the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s slow and undulating vibe.
â€šÃ„ÃºBottomlinersâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºBonebombâ€šÃ„Ã¹ are the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s greatest achievements. The former is a peaceful and minimal piece with a humble melody and elegantly arranged choral overdubs. On â€šÃ„ÃºBonebombâ€šÃ„Ã¹ Eno disguises his voice and simply speaks from what seems to be the diary of a young girl facing her mortality in the midst of war. The glitchy track ends with the chilling words: â€šÃ„ÃºEverything stolen, except my bones/Now I am only bone/I waited for peace, and here is my peace. Here in this still last moment of my life.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Brian Enoâ€šÃ„Ã´s sweepingly progressive Another Day on Earth is an example of a man who not only continues to discover new musical worlds, but is also becoming more conscious of this one.