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Brian Eno - Eno & Cale: Wrong Way Up CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

2.80 | 50 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars BRIAN ENO has worn many hats as producer, songwriter and designer but he was first and foremost a musician who embarked on many paths simultaneously since his first albums arose in the early 70s. Although he is most known for all the innovative ambient albums that he has released, he has also put out a ridiculous number of collaborative albums over the years as well beginning on "No Pussyfooting" with Robert Fripp back in 1973. WRONG WAY UP sees him collaborating for the second time with Velvet Underground legend John Cale (the first album was "June 1, 1971" with Nico). While you would expect two eccentric art rock and experimental pioneers in the musical world to create some highly original music that takes you somewhere completely new, it is not really the case on this one as it sounds somewhat like a lost Talking Heads album.

WRONG WAY UP is one of the more accessible albums by ENO and friends. The dominant focus is on catchy melodies accompanied by a huge assortment of instruments but only acting as subordinate entities never stealing the limelight. There is plenty of electronic art pop going on here but there are also lush string sections that include violin and viola. Other than the melodic pop song approach there is strong emphasis on percussion as well making this sound like an experimental 80s new wave style at times. The percussion list is long and includes dumbeks, Shinto bells, tablas and other Indian drums. The tracks are mostly mid-tempo but some like "Cordoba" are slowed down. The piano blues can also be heard on "Crime In The Desert." The finale "The River" sounds like it should be on a Chris Isaak album!

ENO's discography is a hit-and-miss collection of everything ranging from early experimental glam rock to bizarre ambient worlds so i was honestly expecting a little more from this one given John Cale's legacy as one who likes to go to new places as well. On WRONG WAY UP there is an ethnic flavor to many of the tracks given the instruments on board but the vocals and the overall sound really remind me of synth pop bands of the 80s like Level 42 or even Thomas Dolby. Not really a bad thing as the album comes off well and there really aren't any particularly bad tracks, but this album doesn't blow me away either and doesn't have enough hooks for me to want to return to it often despite the groovy rhythms, symphonic backings and passionate dual harmonies. I like it but don't love it.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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