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Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) CD (album) cover

TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (BY STRATEGY)

Brian Eno

 

Progressive Electronic

3.68 | 176 ratings

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jammun
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Upon first listen, Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy appears to be much weaker than Eno's first album. There's very little of the playfulness, for lack of a better term, found on Here Come the Warm Jets. However, as happens with many of these affairs, the album begins to reveal itself given repeated listenings. I would even recommend headphones, as much of the enjoyable detail in the music is very understated and low in the mix. This is not an album that runs up and grabs the listener; rather it sidles up somewhat like a cat and slowly insinuates itself.

One underlying theme is the cliched Mysterious, Inscrutable East, unknowable to a Westerner (Sweet Regina's gone to China...). Another perhaps is subterfuge (Maybe she will do a bit of spying...). And perhaps there's just a bit of a dig at the music industry in all this too.

The songs, as mentioned, slowly reveal themselves. Particularly enjoyable are the pentatonic strangeness of Burning Airlines Give You So Much More, the menacing lyrics of The Fat Lady of Limbourg, the Floydian bass line that kicks off Third Uncle, the semi-nonsensical lyrics of Put A Straw Under Baby, and the hymn- like structure of the title track. Eno's synths and Manzanera's guitars are excellent throughout, though often, as mentioned, often understated.

The Great Wheel is the one throwback rocker that recalls Warm Jets:

Looking up and down the radio, Uh-oh nothing there this time!

All in all, not a bad second outing for Eno, though in the end I rate it neither higher nor lower.

jammun | 3/5 |

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