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Brian Eno and Karl Hyde don't equal sum of their powers on 'Someday World'

By Ryan Book, The Music Times | May 16, 2014 04:45 PM EDT

Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of.

Week of 05/16/2014
WHO: Eno & Hyde
WHAT: Someday World
SPOT: 194

Brian Eno sits in the uppermost regions of electronic music esteem, and that comes just as much for his collaborations with other big names (from David Bowie to David Byrne) as it does for his solo work. Karl Hyde, another iconic member of the electronic scene thanks to his role as vocalist within Underworld, seems like an obvious fit for a tag-team effort with Eno. Someday World, the aforementioned record from the pair, indicates otherwise.

The first (and incorrect) hypotheses would be to suggest that just because both are electronic icons doesn't mean they meld. After all, some of Eno's most renowned solo work comes in the form of ambient albums such as Music For Airports. On the other hand, Hyde is still popular in Ibiza thanks to his role in more dance-happy house music. Someday World seems to lean heavily toward the Eno sound with nary a danceable moment. The album itself is upbeat, just not hopping.

The problem is that there's enough Hyde featured to prevent it from being an Eno album, as if Hyde were watering down his cohort's vibe. This isn't to suggest Hyde is to blame, but rather to imply that a more balanced attack would serve these tracks well. There's actually not enough Hyde. Just as Byrne and Eno brought different backgrounds to the masterful My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a collaboration as talented as Eno/Hyde should be able to create something more moving.

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