Artist: "Brian Eno"
Album: "Here Come The Warm Jets"
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: E.G. Records
Reviewer: Max Burbank
Review: Brian Eno has produced U2, David Bowie, The Talking Heads, Devo, even the Roches. In almost every case, if a group uses Eno as a producer, it’s my favorite one of their works. Check ‘The Joshua Tree’ or ‘More Songs About Buildings and Food’. Good as he is at bringing out the best in others, good as he was as an element of Roxy Music, it’s his own work I like best. I’m not wild about the ambient albums, and in some ways a lot of new age crap can be tied to them, but that’s like blaming the bubonic plague on the poor rats that carried it, or some other really anguished metaphor.
“Here Come the Warm Jets” was his first solo effort, recorded and mixed in a very short period of 1973 just after he left Roxy Music. Eno assembled a wide and talented group of musicians to play on the album, including Robert Fripp and John Wetton, of King Crimson, but for the first time, he’s not shaping anyone else ideas, more putting people where he knows they can do best.
The album offers a wide range of styles, from the incredibly raw and rhythmic ‘Blank Frank’ to the hypnotic swirl of ‘Cindy tells me’, but each cut offers a stark, odd originality, as if all the character that wasn’t in the dreadful main stream ’73 pap surrounding it somehow leached into this album.
You only need to look at Eno’s haircut in the small black and white offered up on the cover to see that we’re still in glam rock territory, but this is purely a studio album, leaving all the fru fru eyeliner spangly pants crap to the imagination. In it’s place are walls of encompassing sound and lyrics that suggest an understanding that’s always just slightly out of reach but drenched in content, like trying to read Great Expectations while recovering from head trauma.
Unlike other bands reaching for art at the time (ELP comes to mind) there’s humor here. Consider the lyric:
“Oh headless chicken,
How can those teeth take?
So much kicking?”
By refusing to take himself as seriously as former Roxy band mate Bryan Ferry, Eno achieves something far more lasting. Art can age badly if you don’t cut it with a little foolishness. “Here Come The Warm Jets” always sounds to me like the first time I heard it, and never makes me feel as if the self that liked it way back then was an idiot. That’s why I kept this one and I don’t have any of my old Alan Parson’s Project.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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