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Brian Eno - Wrong Way Up (with John Cale) CD (album) cover

WRONG WAY UP (WITH JOHN CALE)

Brian Eno

 

Progressive Electronic

2.68 | 31 ratings

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Syzygy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This collaboration between Eno and Cale is a good album but a slight disappointment coming from two such noted innovators. Eno and Cale's paths have crossed many times - both played on June 1 1974, and Cale was a guest on Eno's Music for Films, for example - so a full blown collaboration was always on the cards. According to Cale in his autobiography, he and Eno had a rather fraught working relationship during these sessions, which may account for the slightly muted feel of much of the album.

Most of Wrong Way Up sounds more like Eno than Cale. The more uptempo numbers have a similar feel to some of the shorter songs on Before and After Science, with a skewed take on the rock song played over complex, African influenced rhythms. Robert Ahwai adds some Fripp styled rhythm guitar to a few of the songs, and is especially effective on One Word and Spinning Away. Cale's light Welsh baritone is used to good effect on In the Backroom, and on many of the other songs their two voices harmonise surprisingly well. The two best songs are the simplest ones on offer. Cordoba is the only track to feature no guest musicians, and is a mournful song with a haunting vocal by John Cale, who has played the song live (there's a good version on the solo live album Fragments of a Rainy Season). The River is effectively an Eno solo song, and is another haunting song with minimalist backing which reacalls some of the slower songs from Another Green World and Before and After Science.

Fans of Eno's more song based albums will enjoy Wrong Way Up, and his trademark surreal lyrics and bizarre sounds are present and correct, but unlike his collaborations with Robert Fripp and David Byrne there are no real surprises here.

Syzygy | 3/5 |

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