Brian Eno Curiosities: Volume 1

I wanted to like this record. Really, I did. First of all, I’m only a surface Brian Eno follower. I think that records such as Before and After Science, Ambient 1: Music for Airports, and even Spinner are good, even important records in the overall scheme of the last quarter century of music. So, where does Curiosities: Volume 1 disappoint, you ask? It’s simply the disjointedness that makes listening to this record such a challenge. As the name suggests, these are pieces of tape that have been sitting in Eno’s studio, and that are now seeing the light of day. I’m not questioning whether these pieces are valid in the music realm. What I’m concerned with is the total and complete lack of glue. There is nothing that holds the record together as a coherent unit. Eno doesn’t know whether he wants this to be a techno, ambient, or simply an experimental noise record. There is no cohesion, and that drawback alone is enough to ensure that this will not end up in my repeated listening pile. (Opal)