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Brian Eno - Brian Eno &  David Byrne: My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 154 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I will admit it--when I first heard this album, I couldn't help but wonder exactly what I'd got myself into, or even whether I was going to like the thing. It sure had some neat stuff, that I could tell, but other things were very quirky, highly unusual, and perhaps a bit dated on the first hearing. But over time, I came to appreciate this album, and now I rate it quite highly indeed.

The key to really getting used to this album--is in remembering that these were the first ventures into things we now consider ordinary: sampling, drum loops, and so on. In a certain way, the roughness of parts of it gives it a unique sound that sets it far apart from the overpolished works of today. That is not to say this is sloppy in any way--the best was done with the technology that existed then, and for that I respect David Byrne and BRIAN ENO.

While I admit that one song, "The Jezebel Spirit", is well put together, there are times when I skip it because it can be quite unnerving! If you ask me, that exorcist sounds much more evil at times than the supposed demon he is trying to remove! Probably, in addition to "The Jezebel Spirit", my least listened-to track on this album is "Moonlight in Glory"--but that one has actually started to grow on me to where I enjoy it a great deal. That probably leaves only one weak track on here: "Very, Very Hungry".

In my opinion, the three strongest tracks are the ones that draw from Middle Eastern sources for their vocals. Each of them, including the painfully short "A Secret Life", I wish had been longer! My two favorites were those with vocals sampled from Lebanese mountain singer Dunya Yusin: "The Carrier" and "Regiment". I must also point out the excellent guitar work in "Regiment", which seems to me like a precursor to the similarly enjoyable work in the Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues' "Making Flippy- Floppy". I also noticed what seemed to be almost a sort of commentary by David Byrne upon politicians and televangelists; the way sound clips are used seem to make both groups look a bit ridiculous at times. For instance, "Mea Culpa's" juxtaposition of the babbling politician's weasling out of whatever he did with David Byrne's listless "blah blah blah blah" makes just as much of a statement as if he'd written lyrics of that nature and sang them. I also notice that in the song "Come With Us", he makes the evangelist sound rather like some freaky cultist, which in my opinion sometimes becomes the case when the evangelist focuses upon creation of a personality cult rather than a religious organization. There are other examples than just these two, however.

Overall, I think this is a very worthwhile album if you're willing to put forth the effort that may be needed to adjust to it.

FloydWright | 4/5 |


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