Brian Eno: The ubiquitous British musician, producer, theorist and father of ambient music released his latest album, “Small Craft on a Milk Sea,” Nov. 2 in the U.S. on Warp Records. He collaborated with Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams.
It’s been more than 30 years since Eno’s first ambient album, “Another Green World,” was released in 1975, and the musical mastermind has not lost his touch.
The new album is thrilling and mysterious with an array of electronic sounds combining to form an exciting narrative experience.
Fans looking for Eno’s true-blue, ambient style will not be disappointed with “Small Craft,” but they may also be pleasantly surprised by some of the new, heavy twists Eno takes with the album. The variance truly defines the album and sets it apart from Eno’s other work.
The album begins with Eno’s traditionally calming, peaceful music with the opening track “Emerald and Lime.” The song eloquently features soft, smooth tones and lulling melody.
However, in true narrative fashion, this peace quickly turns to dread and tension with the next song, “Complex Heaven,” which features an eerie pulse in the background and dark, haunting piano and guitar melodies.
The tension builds with the next few tracks, particularly on “Flint March,” an intense chase scene showcasing talented percussionist Jez Wiles.
This tension snaps two thirds of the way through the sixth track on the album, “2 Forms of Anger,” which builds up with Wiles’ forceful drumming until heavy, jolting electric guitar chords burst onto the scene in climactic fashion.
The action begins to descend over the next few songs, although it is still dark and upbeat.
“Dust Shuffle,” the last track to feature Wiles, and the following track, “Paleosonic,” conclude the more rousing sounds of the album with upbeat drumming and shadowy electronic and guitar melodies.
This falling action ends by returning to the eerie and ghostly sounds from earlier in the album, reaching a peak with the cold and hallow “Calcium Needles.”
The last three songs are more traditional Eno, starting with the song “Emerald and Stone,” a cathartic continuation of the first track, “Emerald and Lime,” and ending with the 8-minute-long mystery world of “Late Anthropocene.”
This latest work by Eno is one of his greatest, perhaps even surpassing his first ambient music masterpiece, “Another Green World.”
For those who are unsure about the boundless world of experimental and ambient music, Eno is the perfect album with which to start, and “Small Craft” is a fantastic showcase of Eno’s talents, unique style and eccentricities.
Eno first entered the music scene in the early ’70s and has risen to become one of the most influential musicians in the modern musical world. From producing albums for Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, U2, Coldplay and others, to composing the six-second start-up music for the Windows 95 operating system, Eno has done it all.
“Small Craft,” his 25th solo album (not including his 19 collaboration albums), is a scintillating continuation of Eno’s rich musical legacy.
Tune into KSLC 90.3 FM to catch a glimpse of Eno’s newest musical voyage, “Small Craft on a Milk Sea.”