Monday, July 4, 2011

Brian Eno- Drums Between the Bells REVIEW

Less than a year after his last collection of ambient textures, Small Craft on a Milk Sea, Brian Eno has blessed us with another album of similar brilliance. No stranger to artistic collaboration, Drums Between the Bells features Eno alongside Rick Holland, a poet who supplies the album’s lyrics. The result is the standard influential bliss that Eno has built his career upon. Listening to Bells is an exercise in thoughtful auditory precision. It is art that has seemingly transcended criticism. Musicians rarely become as critic proof while maintaining such a healthy output of material.

Holland’s lyrics are spoken in various degrees of pitch manipulation and sonic distortion by a selected group of unknowns from Eno’s private life. As one can ascertain, this solemn aspect of Bells is appropriately polarizing. Much of the album feels like Poetry Night at a decidedly post-modern, futurist, jazz bar. Thirty seconds into "Bless This Space", the listener will be able to form an accurate opinion on this technique. For those turned off by the poetry vibe, an instrumental version of Bells is also available. But as for the music, it’s oh-so reliably Eno. Bells features a decidedly noir slant with ratatat skitter beats and trademark chord arrangements that feel tastefully sprinkled here and there upon an ambient soundscape. As per usual, it often seems as if Eno knows something the rest of us don’t. And like most of his material, the sounds here feel evolved as opposed to constructed. This is why reviewing a Brian Eno album feels oddly counterproductive- who are we to criticize the natural order of things?

Drums Between the Bells is streaming in it's entirety here.

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