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My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts

Brian Eno

David Byrne

1981

Buy At Rough Trade
My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
Album Summary

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a studio album by Brian Eno and David Byrne, released in February 1981. It was Byrne's first album without his band Talking Heads. The album integrates sampled vocals and found sounds, African and Middle Eastern rhythms, and electronic music techniques. It was recorded before Eno and Byrne's work on Talking Heads' 1980 album Remain in Light, but problems clearing samples delayed its release by several months. The extensive sampling on My Life is considered innovative, though its influence on later sample-based music genres is debated. Pitchfork named it the 21st best album of the 1980s, while Slant Magazine named it the 83rd.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.76

Votes

10187
Genres
Pop
Rock

Reviews

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Howard: I'll tell you how it works, right? I took a note, sawtooth wave, right off this pantomime four, ran it back here, re-jammed it through itself, looped it back, mixed it with the sound of this crab committing suicide, and let it stew in its own reverb for about three hours, right? And then I pump it all out through this shoe, to give it that oaky timbre.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
3

I feel like I can understand the influence/importance of this album in terms of shaping the perception of sampling in modern music, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoy it very much. It’s not bad and I can almost get into some of the songs but I feel like there is a significant lack of payoff compared to more traditional song structures. Maybe I’m not enough of a genius to understand this or maybe I’ll appreciate it when I’m older. For now, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Wed Oct 05 2022
5

I feel like I can understand the influence/importance Love this. There's ambition, a kind of cinematic aspect to much of the thing I don't understand there would probably be no radio head without this sawtooth wave the sound of this crab committing suicide and then I pump it all out through this shoe,  to give it that oaky timbre would probably be no a-lot-of-modern-music without  that oaky timbre that oaky timbre I'll tell you how it works, right? I took a note, I'll tell you how it works, right? this one sticks out above the others globetrotting rhythms globetrotting rhythms right off this pantomime four, a degree of nervousness that lets the wider world in, and an exorcist and an exorcist especially good for driving at night I'll tell you how it works, right? I took a note, I took a note a giant mess of sounds. I can understand its significance I took a note a vital funk injection что это очень интересный для меня материал. Ранее полагал a giant mess of sounds and an exorcist the sound of this crab commiting suicide that oaky timbre Bom simploriedade um dos malucos fez música com o Caetano. pretty OK, bit repetitive. bit repetitive bit bit bit bit bit bit repetitive repetitive bit repetitive ran it back here, re-jammed it through itself, looped it back, mixed it with Ранее полагал and let it stew in its own reverb for about three hours, right?  bit repetitive there  there I took a note a vital funk injection Bom simploriedade Globetrotting rhythms I'll tell you how it works, right? there there there bit repetitive sawtooth wave especially good for driving at night I'll tell you how it works would probably be no a-lot-of-modern-music without  that okay timbre ----- Number of albums left to review or just listen to: less than 800, I've temporarily lost count here Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens:  approximately a half so far (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: a quarter Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): the last quarter

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Half this album is Beverly Hills Cop II and the other half is FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA’S APOCALYPSE NOW (1979). four stars

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Experimental avant-rock classic. There would probably be no Radiohead without this LP. There would probably be no a-lot-of-modern-music without this LP.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Love this. There's ambition, a kind of cinematic aspect to much of the music, and despite all the electronic bells and whistles there's a lot of humanity and heart. It seems to be quite faddish in this era to incorporate elements of 'World Music' into your sound, but this is probably one of the more successful attempts to do so. Great album.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

All of Eno is the template for Moby, but this one sticks out above the others. Sprung basslines, globetrotting rhythms, awkwardly cool whiteboy funk, and ambience that grows like spreading moss. Byrne adds a degree of nervousness that lets the wider world in, but his influence dies back on the second half.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
1

After recently being exposed to early Talking Heads music I was anticipating I’d enjoy this offering from their lead singer Brian Eno. I found the tracks too experimental for my taste though and way too repetitive. I felt kinda worn out by album end. 1 Star!

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Fri Feb 24 2023
5

Another classic Brian Eno record, this time featuring David Byrne.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
3

This was interesting but it's not an album I will likely listen to again. Some of the songs are almost enjoyable but it all gets lost in a giant mess of sounds. I can understand its significance but it's definitely not my thing.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
2

Interesting but not necessarily enjoyable. A lot of unique sounds, but very little musical cohesion and flow.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
2

The thing I don't understand about these types of albums is who actually enjoys listening to these? It just seems the artists are trying to make it weird, and not trying to make it good.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Debut Brian Eno / David Byrn album. Eno described this album as a "vision of a psychedelic Africa". Rather than conventional pop or rock singing, most of the vocals are sampled from other sources, such as commercial recordings of Arabic singers, radio disc jokeys, and an exorcist. So sampling here is the main vocal. In later years this album has come to be regarded as a highly influential album. I liked it. Especially good for driving at night. :)

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Excellent. Always loved this one.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Love this. Not background music.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

This LP was way ahead of its time. In addition to influencing many artists, I think it may have inspired David Byrne most of all, if you listen to the the singing style he adopted for some of the songs on Remain in Light. Sampling was a fledgling field then and the way Eno & Byrne built songs around samples was unparalleled (and still better than much of what is out there today). After "Regiment", the evangelical samples are my favorites, especially the line "She was intended by God to be a virtuous woman. You have no right to her. Her husband is the head of the house."

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

One of Eno's best collaborations, with David Byrne and the entire continent of Africa adding a vital funk injection.

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Fri Feb 10 2023
5

Much less noisy and more musical than I'd assumed from the description. Outstanding! Very enjoyable.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Wow. I can hear most of the sample driven world of pop and hip-hop of the past few decades in this. Some of these tracks sound like they could have been made yesterday.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

This is a wild album. Eno has a knack for the bizarre while Byrne had just recorded Zimbra. You can hear both their contributions and they worked very well together. I wish Eno would have focussed on having his music on albums like this rather than on side 2 of Heroes. It fits so much better here.  I quite like what would have been side 1 (the first 5 songs incl the one Spotify hid) and also like Moonlight in Glory.  The remaining songs were hit and miss for me but that comes with the territory with music that is a little out there. 

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Fri Jun 11 2021
2

I like Brian Eno and I love David Byrne but this did not do it for me. 5-6/10

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Sun Aug 29 2021
2

Yup, influential as a library of audio tools

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Wed Oct 05 2022
1

big thumbs down. i’m not one to usually critique what music is considered, but honestly this was a bunch of sounds out together. it was almost insulting. i really disliked it because i feel although anyone could do this. i understand that this was influential because nobody had done it before, but there was a reason. it should have stayed undone. 👎👎👎

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

Adelantado a su tiempo, usa samples de música africana creando un disco mágico. Avantgarde, rock experimental, psicodelia étnica. Una locura.

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Sun May 02 2021
5

Outrageously gorgeous and funky soundscapes; a pitch perfect collaboration with David Byrne, another genius.

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Wed Jun 08 2022
5

I took the advice of the Apple Music writers and put this on in the background while I was getting ready for work. By the time I got into the car, I was hooked. Loved it. I especially liked “The Jezebel Spirit.” It kind of reminds me “Frontier Psychiatrist” by The Avalanches.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
5

Brian Eno's music is like getting little kisses on your brain. I've always mixed this one up in my head with some of Talking Head's later stuff. There's a lot of crossover here (even more than usual)

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Honestly how have I never heard this before? To be fair, the title is the kind of thing my dad would say "put this on in the car" and I would groan and try to change the subject. When I texted him about it he said "it was my favourite album when I was your age. I played it all the time" When will I start listening to my parents? I thoroughly enjoyed it but will need to give it another listen to fully appreciate it I think. Both Brian Eno and David Byrne are some of my musical heroes and have had profound impact on me. This is a great marriage of their creative abilities. The range of sounds from all over the world and their ability to produce such a seamless album is so impressive. Five Stars.

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Fri Dec 23 2022
5

Ovo mi je jedan od najdražih albuma ikad

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Fri Feb 10 2023
5

Groovy. Experimental done well.

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Fri Feb 10 2023
5

Unique. Interesting. A great soundtrack to my day! The first time through I liked it. But I listened to this more and its appear climbed steadily. Really great!

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Mon Feb 20 2023
5

Great! Such a cool electric techno sample gasm.

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

The coming together of two genius does not disappoint. This album was a perfect blend of David Byrne's idiosyncrasies with Brian Eno's ambient and electronic experiments. It was at times beautiful, disconcerting, but always thoughtful.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

Brian Eno AND David Byrne?! this is actually incredible!

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

I love this album; the perfect meeting of two of the 20th century's most interesting musicians.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
5

Another of my favourite albums and one of the greatest albums ever created. Bought this on cassette and played it over and over. It's mesmeric. You don't like? Ok sister, you have a Jezebel spirit within you! Genuinely disturbing samples with an insane rhythmic beat.

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Sun Jul 23 2023
5

Fantastic Byrne/Eno collaboration.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Love. Fricken love a good instrumental and made by two absolute legends. Glorious.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

After the first few tracks, I initially brushed this off as "typical Eno", but oh no. Eno's done some very good stuff, but this might be my favorite (and of course, Byrne deserves much credit too). Obviously this isn't your standard modern rock album, so listening might take a little getting used to, but I really like the sounds and the melodies. Not only do I enjoy the music as it is (making it at least a 4 star album), but I appreciate how influential and ahead of its time it was, being released in 1981. As Richard Wright said, "[this album] knocked me sideways when I first heard it – full of drum loops, samples and soundscapes. Stuff that we really take for granted now, but which was unheard of in all but the most progressive musical circles at the time... The way the sounds were mixed in was so fresh, it was amazing."

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Wed Nov 08 2023
5

amazing at the time it was released and still holds up

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

Dark, twisted, frequently funky and hauntingly weird. I bought this album years ago on cassette as a teenager after hearing "The Jezebel Spirit" on the radio. Back then, the album mostly confounded me, but I have grown to love it over the years. This is a really diverse and unique work from Brian Eno and David Byrne, two of the most creative minds in music. It's a collaboration that really works, full of moments both unsettling and transcendent. The layers of samples and looped sounds are central to the album's sound, giving off a cool found footage vibe. But listen deeper, and you will find elements of solid musicianship that give the album its depth, particularly on percussion and bass. There's really nothing else like this in music. The album was years ahead of its time when it came out, but it has aged beautifully. The song "Qu'ran" from the original album is not available on Spotify, but you can easily find it on YouTube. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Regiment; America Is Waiting; Mountain of Needles; Help Me Somebody; The Jezebel Spirit; Mea Culpa; Qu'ran; The Carrier; Come with Us; Moonlight in Glory; Very, Very Hungry; A Secret Life

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Fri Nov 24 2023
5

You can clearly notice Brian Eno and David Byrne in this, nice surprise

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Mon Dec 04 2023
5

Two musical geniuses together on one record. I really love both of them and their first album is a huge hit.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
5

Arguably the most important of the Byrne/Eno collaborations, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts remains a dizzying, staggering achievement. The brain waves that surged through both men in the creation of this album has often become a source of fascination that beguiles to this day. So much inspiration, so much information, so much trouble; forty plus years has done little to suppress the fact that, without this album, much of what has come in the world of music would be very, very different.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
5

I am so happy that I was high and making chili while listening to this

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Mon Jan 15 2024
5

A genre-bending classic. The mix of syncopated electronic rhythms with 'found' voices has been an influence on so many other artists. And, this works so well as a mood and an album, the tracks are distinct also flow well together. Am not always a huge fan of either artist's solo work, but this collaboration seems greater than the sum of its (considerable) parts.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

Absolutely fucking superb. Love Eno, love Talking Heads, so of course I love this. Only bad thing about it is the making of this record kind of sowed the seeds of the Heads' destruction. But oh well, we got the Tom Tom Club as well instead, so there's that. Really glad I got the Holger Czukay album a week or so back or I would have had no idea he was even in Can before that or the significance of him to this record. I enjoy this a LOT more than Movies however. Well worth popping over to YouTube to pick up Quran, which it was possibly blasphemous to remove from the record, but they did. Can I just say, kudos to the review with the cut up pieces of other people's reviews. Love your work!

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

bellissimo, pieno di campionamenti e un sound elettronico ambient molto unico

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Mon Apr 08 2024
5

This is a great collaboration of two amazing artists. I think it really shows a more experimental side with the sampling and found sounds.

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Thu Sep 10 2020
4

Revolutionary electronics album combining international sounds. unfortunately didnt listen enough 8/10

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Thu Sep 24 2020
4

Would listen to again. Very funky and psychedelic vibes

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Fri Nov 06 2020
4

Good album but very distracting to listen to while problem solving.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

I think this has lost a lot of the impact it once had, but still stands as a groove ass album.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

Yes to sonic exploration. Yes to music gadget greenery. Yes to Eno. No to how it actually sounds.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

About what you'd expect when these two get together, but that's not a bad thing. Firmly avant-garde.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Entertaining and kinda groovy. A little weird tho

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Pretty cool! I liked it more and more as it went a long. It’s interesting that I feel like I can never tell what’s gonna happen next over the course of the song. 3.5 because I wish there was some singing/lyrics

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Awesome atmospheric and weird album with Talking heads influences combined with synth-ambient music

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Fri Mar 26 2021
4

Всегда про проходил мимо, а оказалось, что это очень интересный для меня материал. Ранее полагал, что это некий гитарист-экспериментатор, а это один из основоположников эмбиента. Позор мне.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Very good work by Brian and David

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

This is a WEIRD album. And it as fascinating as it is weird (and trust when I say, it is truly WEIRD). Interesting that this album is under the Eno name and not a collaborative title as this definitely feels just as much a David Bryne album as it does an Eno one. I guess Eno's masterful as always production does really flesh it all out but part of the bewildering beauty and effectiveness is in how Byrne (known of course for The Talking Heads) decided that this avant-garde afro/worldbeat/funk project would be his first without the band that put him on the map. It continually surprised me with how well it all works, how well Byrne plays as a counterpoint and partner in crime in an album that is sonically pure Eno madness (and such great madness it is!).

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Fri Jul 16 2021
4

I had high expectations for this one, being a Talking Heads fan. Overall the album did not entirely live up to those expectations, but I did really enjoy it. 3.5 stars, which I will round up to 4 because I liked the album more than most others I rated 3 stars. Really liked track 4 (Help me somebody).

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Thu Aug 05 2021
4

A really interesting listen and unique to what I've listened to so far. 8/10 for this one

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

A strong recommendation to anyone looking for a more "Remain in Light" or "Speaking in Tongues" with an experimental spin.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Brian Eno and David Byrne are both certified musical geniuses in my book, so one would expect something really special when they collab on an album. They (mostly) deliver here with truly innovative (for its time) samples from obscure songs and exorcisms and add atmospheric African beats and rhythms. Some of it is brilliant like Jezebel, but some falls flat unfortunately. This album went on to influence a host of others that also sampled arcane audio recordings and imbue their sound with African grooves. Of note was KLF who did a bang up job with their seminal Chill Out album. This album sags a bit in spots so it’s a 3.5 to me but I’ll round up because of its groundbreaking sound and influence

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Wed Jan 19 2022
4

I like the texture of this record - have had the vinyl for years

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

My only exposure to Brian Eno, up until this point, was via his involvement in the iconic Talking Heads record Remain In Light, which only came out a year before this album did. Naturally, I was curious. I have never seen a producer-centric album outside of hip-hop, and I was intrigued to see if there would be any overlaps in influences between Eno and his work with the art-punk band. My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts was truly an aural journey; a sprawling soundscape from start to finishing comprising of krautrock-esque beats, hypnotic keys, and oddly expressive looping vocals. The result is a captivating album that would not be out of place as part of an installation art piece. The liberal featuring of afro-funk guitars and drums on tracks like The Jezebel Spirit confirmed the aforementioned confluence of inspiration with Talking Heads, invoking a spirit and drive like that on I, Zimbra. Little wonder too, then, that lead Talking Head and fellow creative iconoclast David Byrne features heavily on the album. Overall, this was a great album to work to, but also one that I would definitely revisit to devote my attention to. The mix of live and programmed instrumentation and spoken word parts of David Byrne result in an album that still sounds layered, intriguing and hypnotic, one would have to be forgiven for forgetting that it was made over 40 years ago.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

God damn, Eno was just on fire around this time, his genius fingers were in so many lusciously-textural music pies; and Byrne was the undisputed king of the groove in this era as well. Much more freaky sounding than the Talking Heads work Eno produced but still with those toe-tapping head-pounding cross-rhythmic synth-warbling beaaats

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

I liked this a lot, I mean I'm a fan of both Brian Eno and David Byrne and this has a lot of both of them in it, so it makes sense

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Thu Mar 24 2022
4

Due to the randomness of the 1001 songs generator, this is my second Eno album in a row. I really enjoyed them both, which is a surprise because this isn't my type of music. I'd heard some of Eno's ambient stuff and found it dull, but this was a return to form, no doubt helped with the collaboration with that absolute genius (and pain in the arse) David Byrne. I missed a lot of good music in the '80s, tending to stick to rock. I shall keep listening to more weird stuff.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

Perfect, amazing, never been done before, ahead of its time, etc. 4.0

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

3.5/5 Very cool and innovative Byrne and Eno, but it’s no Talking Heads 🤷‍♂️

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

finally something from brian eno i like. obviously, huge into him as the godfather of ambient music. that's my jam (not jam?) a solid amount of the time. But like, i didn't love roxy music, and his solo career is meh, so i'm glad david byrne was able to steer this into a direction i enjoyed.

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Sun Jul 31 2022
4

Just a demonstration of Eno and his classic production innovation in my mind. Not always the perfect foreground music, but almost always well done.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
4

Wild, weird, fascinating and clangy.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
4

Artworkið á albúminu er banger! Langar í þetta til að setja upp á vegg. Tónlistin er eins og við má búast þegar tveir skrýtnir og skemmtilegir listamenn koma saman: skrýtin og skemmtileg.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
4

This album feels like just an eclectic collection of sounds, but it's somehow still cohesive. The music theory as a whole escapes me but this album just feels overly complex in a good way. 4/5

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

What do you get when you combine the minds of two creative weird geniuses? You get something experimental that many will find mindblowing and unique, while many more will find nonsensical, directionless, and unsatisfying. It mostly sounds like an Eno album, but you can hear David Byrne's goofiness thrown in, along with his love for afrobeat, funk, and punk. With its comfortable and extensive use of sampling and electronic ambiance, this album is over a decade ahead of its time. Runner-ups to early 80s sampledelia came in the form of silly old-school hip hop acts like Malcolm McLaren, but this is so much more mature and in control. The major weakness is the length of the songs. There are only 11 songs, but due to the extensive repetition, if you don't like an idea, then you have to sit through it for the next 4 minutes. Combined with the abrasiveness of some tracks, this can be a chore. "The Jezebal Spirit" comes to mind as the major example, being nearly 5 minutes long, and that's supposed to be the single. There's also a dramatic tone shift in the second half, getting increasingly atmospheric and mellower. Bonus tracks are fun, but also a bit too much. For anyone interested, there's a removed track called "Qu'Ran" you can find on Youtube which is fantastic: dark, psychedelic, and funky. Favorites: America is Waiting, Mea Culpa, Regiment, Qu'Ran, Very Very Hungry, Come with Us

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Sun Sep 25 2022
4

The cooky spacey sample thing only those Eno & Byrne boys could come up with. Thank you Wikipedia for applying the context ‘a vision of psychedelic Africa’

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

Never heard of this album but am glad I got the chance to listen today. Enjoyable vibe and the experimental sounding stuff works. A definite keeper.

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Sun Oct 09 2022
4

A very minimal and very entertaining album. If you don't like much of anything but want lot of everything in other places. Lot of tribal rythems and also lot of gospel vocal. If you thought this was boring I wouldn't blame you

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

David Byrne is a national treasure, and so are his big suits, and so is Brian Eno. It's easy to see how a collaboration from these two could go incredibly right or horribly wrong, since they are both incredible visionaries. This album isn't as pleasant to listen to as a lot of stuff made by these two in their previous solo/group work, but it is really cool. The use of heavy sampling to compose an album makes this album highly significant, but more than that, it's good. The music is as diverse, global, and polyrhythmic as you might expect from David Byrne, and not quite as ambient and electronic as you might expect from Brian Eno. Definitely well worth a listen 4/5

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: America is waiting, Somebody help me

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Wed Dec 14 2022
4

Actually a really interesting album. I can’t say I loved every single song but many were super groovy with really fun samples. It feels like the much older, more pessimistic/depressed Since I Left You by The Avalanches, but a really good listen nonetheless. 8/10

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

It is just a glorious, weird experiment. You can see how Talking Heads evolved through this.

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