Eno • Hyde
May 07, 2014 Web Exclusive
Where might be the common ground between Karl Hyde, known for his work with the electronic music group Underworld, and Brian Eno, whose background opens up myriad possibilities within a collaboration? For their first album together, plan to park your preconceptions back at the club.
Beats are key to some of the tracks, and the duo takes a widely varied approach to rhythms here. But while melodic inventions are sometimes built on infectious rhythms, the latter never overwhelms the former. For "A Man Wakes Up," which recalls Eno's work with Talking Heads, the beat drives the memorable chorus while the song itself is paramount.
Eno and Hyde composed and sang the nine tracks, joined by a group of supporting players including Coldplay's Will Champion and Roxy Music's Andy Mackay. Some of the tracks are fairly basic; with its group backing vocals and basic instrumentation, the folk spirit of "Who Rings the Bell" could settle comfortably onto a Mumford and Sons record. Acoustic guitar and keyboards color the sunset vista of the closing "To Us All" as an instrumental before harmony vocals enter briefly near its finish.
Things get interesting when they occasionally stray from the path, as with the jagged, proggy left turn taken during "When I Built This World." But the duo also lays bare a pop heart, as on "Daddy's Car," in which the hyper beat opening the track belies no indication that it's about to give way to a funky brass interlude. Where "The Satellites" sounds at first like the duo might be stacking repetitive passages à la Philip Glass, the buildup gives way to moody vocals over an insistent electronic bounce.
For Someday World, the song's the thing, and Eno and Hyde appear to make a comfortable match. And with the promise in a song like "Witness" that manages an intriguing melding of straightforward structure with experimental elements that teasingly shake the framework, the way forward could be particularly fruitful. (www.enohyde.com)
Author rating: 6.5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10
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