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 07/11/2014
WHO: Eno & Hyde
WHAT: High Life
Brian Eno and Karl Hyde become the first act to make two appearances in our Back of The Billboards feature, having been the last new album on the Billboard 200 twice already during 2014. Oddly enough, the May release Someday World came in at no. 194, the same spot as the newer drop High Life.
The difference between the two is more relevant than the curious coincidence however: High Life is great. We lamented during our write up on the pair's first album that "a more balanced attack would serve these tracks well. There's actually not enough Hyde." This album was created far before our mini-review ran of course, but we'll still take a false sense of accomplishment for "fixing" the all-star electronic duo's approach.
Eno is a man of many moods but he's always been most noted, at least in his solo work, for the ambient style that dominated Someday World. High Life finds a product more comparable to that of his work with David Byrne, a more upbeat yet still refined approach. Of course Eno's now working with Hyde, of Underworld fame, and his partner deserves credit for bringing his background up to the surface here.
Check out "Lilac," a track that bustles along for nearly 10 minutes but never loses steam, and allows its creators to sing along.