Brian Eno: Drums Between the Bells – review


In David Byrne's tour film, Ride, Rise, Roar, Brian Eno admits he doesn't really like lyrics, and in the accompanying notes for this second Warp album in only a few months, he admits the "liberation" of realising that a song needn't involve singing. Hence this album of musical speech, which involves Eno sculpting music around voices he likes, from poet Rick Holland, to a woman he met on the street near the studio, and a lady from the local health club. Although this sounds as if he is taking the mickey, the results are often rather highbrow. Glitch's motorik electronics and Seedpods' airy grooves are compelling, but at times it feels as if Eno is stubbornly working against himself. The beautiful melodies of Pour It Out and Dreambirds are crying out not for wordy narratives about how "hemoglobin modules exist as 20 million models", but those yearning, dreamlike vocals from albums like 1977's Before and After Science, when he did that frightful lyric-writing and singing stuff immeasurably well.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Brian Eno: Small Craft on a Small Sea | CD review
Brian Eno's 25th solo album doesn't look forward, but Dave Simpson think that no bad thing

Dave Simpson

11, Nov, 2010 @10:00 PM

Article image
CD: Pop review: David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Twenty-seven years ago, David Byrne and Brian Eno changed the face of popular music. Can they do it again? By Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

14, Aug, 2008 @11:01 PM

Article image
CD: Brian Eno and David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts


Dave Simpson

24, Mar, 2006 @12:25 AM

Article image
Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto – review

Coldplay had billed their new album as a move into pop. But Alexis Petridis hears the same old band underneath

Alexis Petridis

20, Oct, 2011 @2:30 PM

The Drums: Portamento – review
The Drums? Rebecca Nicholson reckons they're dreary enough to be renamed the Glums

Rebecca Nicholson

01, Sep, 2011 @10:40 PM

Article image
Why Bryan Ferry's new album trumps Brian Eno's
Nobody really expects innovation from Bryan Ferry. Strangely, that means his album works better as mood or background music than Brian Eno's does

Tom Ewing

28, Oct, 2010 @9:15 PM

On music: Falling for the human voice in 2008

Jude Rogers: Choirs on TV and Phil Spector in supermarket aisles herald the end of the year

Jude Rogers

12, Dec, 2008 @12:01 AM

Readers recommend: Songs about fictional places

Songs about fictional places

Rob Fitzpatrick

21, May, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Edward Helmore talks to Brian Eno and David Byrne

Even after a 27-year break, the music of Brian Eno and David Byrne is umbilically linked. They talk to Edward Helmore about punk rock, paranoia and the power of singalongs

Edward Helmore

27, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
'Working with someone is like dating'

The secret to recording with Paul Simon is sending him out shopping, British galleries won't take him seriously - oh, and Roxy Music are back together, Brian Eno tells Richard Williams.

19, May, 2006 @3:20 PM