Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Eno

  • Here Come the Warm Jets [Island, 1974] A
  • Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) [Island, 1975] A-
  • Another Green World [Island, 1976] A+

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Here Come the Warm Jets [Island, 1974]
The idea of this record--top of the pops from quasi-dadaist British synth wizard--may put you off, but the actuality is quite engaging in a vaguely Velvet Underground kind of way. Minimally differentiated variations on the same melody recur and recur, but it's a great melody, and not the only one, and chances are he meant it that way, as a statement, which I agree with. What's more, words take over when the music falters, and on "Cindy Tells Me" they combine for the best song ever written about middle-class feminism, a rock and roll subject if ever there was one. My major complaint is that at times the artist uses a filter that puts dust on my needle. A

Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) [Island, 1975]
For all his synthesized, metronomic androidism, Eno is more humane than Bryan Ferry--his romanticism less strident, his oddness less devilish. It's nice, too, that in his arch, mellow way the man takes note of the real world from behind the overdubs. Every cut on this clear, consistent, elusive album affords distinct present pleasure. Admittedly, when they're over they're over--you don't flash on them the way you do on "Cindy Tells Me" and "Baby's on Fire." But that's just his way of being modest. A-

Another Green World [Island, 1976]
Although I resisted at first, I've grown to love every minute of this arty little collection of static (i.e., non-swinging) synthesizer pieces (with vocals, percussion, and guitar). Think of it as the aural equivalent of a park on the moon--oneness with nature under conditions of artificial gravity. Played in the background, all thirteen pieces merge into a pattern that tends to calm any lurking Luddite impulses; perceived individually, each takes on an organic shape of its own. Industrialism yes. A+