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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Re-transfers"? Wot? Good music, though., June 15 2004
This review is from: Before And After Science (Audio CD)
2 cents on the music: very good, very wonderful, very Eno. Unabashed pop (Backwater, Here He Comes) mixes with artier WTFs (Kurt's Rejoinder), nervous funk (No One Receiving), and spacier dreamscapes (Energy, Julie). I quite prefer the second half of this album, which in its textural bliss culminates in the gorgeous Spider and I, which is a fitting farewell to Eno's "vocal" era. As on his previous album Another Green World, Eno makes use of the deft rhythm battery of Phil Collins and Percy Jones, who were both playing in Brand X at the time. (And one of 'em was in Genesis, too, I think.) For all his talk about being a non-musician, blah blah blah, Eno knew the value of hiring top creative players, and he himself is no slouch at playing imaginative keyboards - listen to that almost orchestral buildup in Julie With. So, the music gets four stars from me, even if a couple of the tracks grate the nerves on occasion.
But if you're reading this, chances are you're wondering about the SOUND of these reissues. I had cassettes of these early Eno albums back in college, I had original CDs, I had the 1993 boxsets...and I figured this time out, we'd get the once-and-for-all, definitive, hi-quality editions we'd all been waiting for. And...er...well, it's nothing that drastic. These are not remasters, these are not remixes, these are "retransfers"; to my ears, this apparently means a wee bit more clarity, a wee bit higher CD master volume (but not much), and that's it. No doubt they sound better than the original CDs, but it's not much of an improvement over what was heard in the Vocal and Instrumental boxsets over a decade ago. And those were needing an upgrade, if you ask me.
The problem is in the original mixes. No One Receiving, for example, buries the drums and removes almost all the visceral punch you could expect from a track with two basses. It's maddening to have to adjust your home EQ/volume to try and bring this track out of its shell. On the other hand, Kurt's Rejoinder puts the bass WAY OUT THERE, and I'm left wondering why Eno couldn't have found a happy medium somewhere. Actually, it's some of the bass/drum tracks on Another Green World that frustrate me the most, but there are bits on this album, particularly the leadoff track, that could have used some 2004 tweaking.
To clarify, I'm not complaining about the analog beauty of the album. Those keyboard washes in Julie With sound wonderful to me, better than any digital recording. There's a "datedness" to the sound of this record that cannot be replaced (or fixed). But I'm still left with the opinion that these latest reissues are not all they could have been. Nevertheless, these have become the definitive editions for now, so grab this album and its predecessor, have your remote handy, turn out the lights, cue up and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wittiness of Brain Eno, Jan. 31 2009
This review is from: Before And After Science (Audio CD)
One of my favourite Eno albums, he has an ordinary voice that he uses to great advantage, This is completely the opposite to his ambient music. He gets right into it with No One Receiving Eno is really a super arranger of sounds much the same way one arranges sounds of an orchestra except without conventional instruements. This CD and Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy are just so much fun. Top Marks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eno Essential, July 15 2004
By 
Amazon Customer "sgshimer" (Bainbridge, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before And After Science (Audio CD)
Car music. Ride with this music. Or sit and burn candles. Or make spaghetti. Unlike his more backgroundy music this is music to move to as well. The thing is it is ESSENTIAL. You must have this album. And Another Green World. The album with John Cale - Wrong Way Up completes the triumverate. These three are must haves. Which is better? Impossible to say. Taking Tiger Mountain and Appllo ... also excellent. But get Before and After Science and decide which side is 'before'? Or just ride with it. Eno is great and this may be his greatest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The real desert island Eno, June 16 2006
By 
Johnnie Neptune (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
As is the case with its predecesor, Another Green World, the remastered version is no great deal if you already own this on CD. Nonetheless, this collection of songs is so good that it gets 5 stars anyway. Everything came together for Eno on this disc. The songs, the ambient textures, the guest support. As strong and innovative as Another Green World was, it seemed like a collection of musical blueprints for the most part. Many pieces felt unfinished. Not so here. This is one of the most perfect recordings I have ever heard. The absence of bonus tracks is actually welcome. They would probably get in the way. This work is complete as is - an artist and musical visionary in flow state, making his definitive artistic statement!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Eno release gets even better, June 3 2004
This review is from: Before And After Science (Audio CD)
"Before and After Science" represented Eno in peak form. It's mixture of art-rock songs and ambient instrumental passages marked a turning point for him as well; this would be the last solo album where he would sing for more than a decade. "No One Receiving" with its funky, lumpy bass line and it's odd melody immediately captures your attention. "King's Lead Hat" (an anagram for Talking Heads) reflected Eno's hope that he would be selected (which he was) to produce the band's albums. In fact, you can hear echoes of Eno on the trio of Heads albums he produced. While there's no denying David Bryne and the band's genius, it's clear that Eno had a huge impact as a producer on helping the band expand on their original sound.
"Spider and I" closes the album with one of Eno's most gentle melodies. It sounds almost like a lullaby and the gentle music could easily lull you to sleep. It helped set the stage for Eno's next stage where he devoted himself full time to developing ambient projects.
The remastered sound using the DSD system comes through with the vibrance and warmth one would expect from the album. While the previous edition of the album sounded very good, there's better clarity and depth evident in the recording on this edition even when listened to on a cheap stereo system. My only disappointment is the lack of thought put into the packaging. There's no liner notes, no lyrics and while the cardboard digipak is housed in a nice plastic container, the presentation inside is bare bones. We get the album credits and no more. While that reflects the original issue of the album on vinyl, it wouldn't have hurt to expand the packaging (and include a bonus track or two).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Must-have Eno, June 3 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Before And After Science (Audio CD)
This is more "essential" Eno, imho. From the truly pop-oriented brilliant round-like "Backwater" to the intensity of "King's Lead Hat", Eno adds great music throughout - some somber, some slightly eclectic, some dreamy, lots of interesting music on this album. Great addition to any Eno collection, and a solid example of his work. I started with the album way back when, then the CD... and now of course I'll have to purchase the remastered version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding with some rare vocals, March 24 2004
By 
L. Leader "travlin' man" (Hattiesburg, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Before & After Science (Audio CD)
Even though I enjoy the ambient music genre, this is my favorite Eno ensamble with a broad mix of songs from begining to end which make the entire album great enjoyment to listen to over and over .. Particullarly "backwater" and "Julie with.." which have surprisingly excellent vocals that blend with the music and almost allow it to remain AMBIENT LIKE but less extreem. if you are just getting into ENO, I would suggest this CD and "Another green world"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Juxtaposition as Art, July 9 2003
By 
Sam I Am (Pearl Harbor, HI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before & After Science (Audio CD)
In this, which I believe to be his seminal vocal work, we are treated to searingly intelligent lyrical manipulation and groovy, catchy, but still mysteriously progressive instrumentation. "Backwater" recalls some of the lyrical style of Here Come The Warm Jets, but has an electric piano driven bass line that still hits you even after 25 years. I grew up listening to everything from Eno to Cream to the Clash and back again, and this album is easily in the top ten for me. Eno uses the foreshadowing of the album title in very subtle ways throughout the work, allowing you to relax and enjoy or stare avidly at the album cover as you seek to discover all the marvelous nuances in the music, even down to track order. Remember this was released BEFORE CD's, so it was an album, with a front and back side to it. That simple knowledge alone enhances the experience. If you don't have the whole album, and just downloaded a few songs, you can't truly appeciate it as the stylized work of art that it truly is. Better yet, purchase the LP and play it on your tube amp system for that wonderfully warm sound from the "Days before Digital"!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Whole Is Slightly Less than the Sum of Its Parts, April 2 2003
By 
Greg Cleary (Duluth, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Before & After Science (Audio CD)
This was Eno's fourth and final "song" album, and the only one that I would not give five stars. It is still a very good album, however. My favorite tracks are "Here He Comes" (smooth pop bliss), "No One Receiving" (indescribably funky), and "Kurt's Rejoinder" (the bassline will give you whiplash).
There are no bad tracks here, and it is probably Eno's most eclectic work. "King's Lead Hat" sounds like something from the first album, "Backwater" would have fit right in on "Tiger Mountain," and some of the quiet material on side two is reminiscent of "Another Green World."
I agree with the earlier reviewers who said that this album makes more sense on vinyl because of the radical difference between side one and side two. I have it on vinyl, along with the three other "song" albums, and though I listen to it less often than "Tiger Mountain" and "Another Green World" (my favorites), I do enjoy it.
But it seems that Eno's weariness with songwriting was beginning to show, not in the songs themselves but in the album's lack of cohesion. I think of "Before and After Science" as a very good collection of singles with tracks 7-9--the quiet ones--fitting together to form a mini-suite.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE - finest Eno, Feb. 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Before & After Science (Audio CD)
There are a handful of Eno records worth listening to and owning. Of the four "rock albums" TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (BY STRATEGY), BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE, ANOTHER GREEN WORLD, and the first HERE COME THE WARM JETS, the best is Before and After...
The songs "King's Lead Hat" (actually an anagram for Talking Heads", "Julie With..." and "By This River" show Eno as an intrigue and odd performer. Martin L. Gore has selected new songs for the April 2003 release COUNTERFEIT2. Not surprisingly, one of the selections is "By This River", and the song from Depeche Mode called "The Great Outdoors!" has similar bell-like and moody synth sounds.
An Eno essential, enjoy.
Stephen B.
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Before And After Science
Before And After Science by Brian Eno (Audio CD - 2009)
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