Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No. 436: Here Come the Warm Jets

Band: Brian Eno
Album: Here Come the Warm Jets
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Brian Eno's name evokes tons of great things and this album was his first foray into solo work. With King Crimson's Robert Fripp and John Wetton, the album has a slightly progressive feel.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: The album is spotty and some of the songs are pretty mediocre.
Best song: "Needles in the Camel's Eye" is brilliant.
Worst song: "Driving Me Backwards" isn't very good.
Is it awesome?: Nope.

Bryan Ferry must be the reason I don't love Roxy Music. "Here Come the Warm Jets" is essentially a Roxy Music album, with Robert Fripp (of King Crimson) replacing Ferry. Fripp's guitar work, of course, is brilliant and Eno's production is amazing. The album's title track's guitar sound is where the title comes from, as Eno found the guitar to evoke the sound of a jet engine.

It's not to say that "Here Come the Warm Jets" is a great album. It isn't. It doesn't seem fully realized, with some tracks feeling like extended guitar solos -- Fripp does his best David Gilmour impression on "Baby's on Fire" -- and others as full-on pop songs. "Needels in the Camel's Eye," for example, is a strikingly good record. "Cindy Tells Me" is tons of fun and a glam rock staple.

Eno's voice gets tiresome, as well. Somewhere between Roger Waters and David Byrne, Eno sometimes gets his snark on too much, as he does in "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch" and "Dead Fiks Don't Talk." "Blank Frank" is a snide, brilliant garage rock record, but Eno's voice hurts the track.

I prefer it to the Roxy Music records, that's for sure.


padraig said...

"Needle in the Camel's Eye" has always sounded to me like what I imagine the Velvet Underground doing in the 70s if they'd managed to stay together. Kinda like "Roadrunner" but less blatantly derivate.

It's true that this record doesn't compare to Eno's pioneering electronic work or his career as a producer. Are you familiar with "No Pussyfooting", the other album he recorded with Fripp around the same time? That is a great record.

toppop100 said...

Let's just admit it: Eno was a lousy singer.