First, I can understand Spike's issue with Eno's music. If you're not into ambient, this will kill you. But it's like Diana Krall for me - I just can't stand that soporofic bore, and I'M FROM CANADA!
Now, on to the disc at hand....
"This" is simply the best kick off song on a CD since "Come Together" opened ABBEY ROAD. It is thematically akin to what Eno did on his collaboration with John Cale, and would fit right in with "Spinning Away." It's beyond clever and absolutely perfect even to the way it deconstructs at the end. From there, clearly his most recent effort with Fripp, the haunting EQUATORIAL STARS, certainly has had an impact on the ambient moods he creates throughout this disc. It is in so many ways a reflection of how exhausted with the travail of living another day on earth can be, and yet there is something that just refuses to cave in, for all the existential weight.
"Bottomliners" will haunt you long after its conclusion, and seems almost to be the twin of "Bone Bomb", whose sudden ending is as profound a statement on death as you'll ever get. "Caught Between" resonates with an intensity of a life lived with eyes and sensibilities finely attuned. "Under" is more effectively presented than in its 1991 life.
Most reviews mention the hymn-like quality of the songs. They are indeed spiritual statements and certainly not pop songs. Given the comparative wealth of information among his credits - quite a rare thing - this must be, without giving away too much, as personal a statement of his life at this point as he's ever made. Fripp and Bowie, his daughters, key people in his career are given thanks. There is obviously something going on that he wanted to say. And in ways what he wanted to say is what remains left unsaid. He unsays it poetically. And there is just a heartbreaking beauty about the music he creates.
If you are like our buddy, Spike, or just have Dutch roots (what the h#ll were they thinking in rejecting the EU constitution - like they have a presence in the world!), you just are not going to like this CD. If you have enjoyed what Eno has brought to Bowie, Fripp, TH, U2 and Daniel Lanois, you'll find thid disc impossible to put down. As essential as ANOTHER GREEN WORLD, or MUSIC FOR FILMS, or even the Berlin trilogy, this is stunning and reflectively provocative.