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Brian Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.73 | 186 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Brian Eno's first solo effort. Unlike his 5th album, you shouldn't play this in airports.

Brian Eno, the ex-sound manipulator from Roxy Music, embarked on his solo career after splitting up with Roxy Music back in 1972. Apparently, arguments with frontman Bryan Ferry about how Ferry thought that Eno's disheveled appearance took away from the band's clean image were enough motivation for Eno to take his talents elsewhere. 2 years later, we are tossed a bone with this eccentric freak-pop-indie-punk mishmash.

First off, just looking at the musician's on this album is enough motivation to consider a purchase. If it was 1974 and you saw John Wetton and Robert Fripp together on an album, well let's just say that your money was gone fairly quickly. Robert Fripp makes his presence known on the third track, "Baby's On Fire", with a blistering guitar solo that lasts about 3 minutes, but Wetton's contributions are surprisingly hard to find because of the 4 other bassists used for the album.

The opening to the album, and you can quote me on this, sounds "quite Bowie". Although the opening song, "Needles In The Camel's Eye" has a very punk-rock rich vibe going through it, the second song, "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch", has a very glam rock appearance to it, combined with the glossy keyboards and weird lyrics. "Baby's On Fire" is one of Eno's most praised songs from his "vocal" period, mainly because of Fripp's solo that I told you about earlier. Aside from the manic soloing, Eno provides some excellently twisted lyrics and interesting sound manipulations. "Cindy Tells Me" is a rarity for an Eno album, a song that actually uses a nice vocal harmony. It's not my cup of tea however, and certainly isn't for a hardcore Eno listener, either. "Driving Me Backwards" closes out the A-side with some more interesting synthesizers and sound manipulations, but a little less actual music.

B-side, not as good as the A-side, but then again I consider the A-side of this album to be one of Eno's finest early moments. "On Some Faraway Beach" is an absolutely breath-taking song, and with its dreamy pianos and atmospheres you actually get the feeling of being on a beach. This just might be the only hint to Eno's future career in all of his first albums. The atmosphere is quickly shattered by the loud drum beating of "Blank Frank". Once again, kudos to Eno's production skills. All of the multi-instrument layering makes this song a very interesting listen, whereas any other producer might have turned it into a disheveled mess. "Dead Finks Don't Talk", with it's spoken lead vocals (save for the choruses) and lounge style pianos sounds like a bad song on paper, however it is actually a very enjoyable listen once you get used to it. The next- to-last song, "Some Of Them Are Old" is another stellar track, even if I never get to find out who Lucy is. The beautiful ascending chord progression going into the choruses is a touch of brilliance as well. The album ends with the title track, "Here Come The Warm Jets", and it is in the same vein as "On Some Faraway Beach", with the use of all the fuzzy electronics to create swirling atmospheres.

Before I recommend this album, I must say one thing. Eno's vocal albums are an acquired taste. If you don't "get" this album after 1 or 2, or maybe even 6 or 7 listens just keep trying, you will eventually find it to be a rewarding experience. Now, I would say that any fans of David Bowie or early Roxy Music should automatically own this album, while fans of anything from punk to glam rock and everything in between should try this a few times.

Not as progressive as his later efforts, but a stellar and different debut. 4 stars.

Chris H | 4/5 |


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