Before and After Science
Before and After Science was the last vocal album that Eno made as a solo artist until 2005’s Another Day on Earth, which in hindsight is surprising since there’s not even a hint that he’s running out of ideas. He’s picking up on new influences that weren’t there before – ‘King’s Lead Hat’ is a tribute to, and an anagram of, Talking Heads, showing that Eno was paying attention to new wave Meanwhile, the album also has a German feel in places, not surprising given that he’d worked with Harmonia and recorded with Bowie in Berlin; ‘By This River’ features musicians from Harmonia.
Before and After Science is divided into two distinct LP sides; a sprightly first half to burn off the listener’s last remnants of vitality, followed by a mellow side to lull the listener to sleep. Highlights in the first half include the punchy opener ‘No One Receiving’ and ‘King’s Lead Hat’, while the second side glides along gracefully through the country textures of ‘Here He Comes’ and the slinky keyboard grooves on ‘By This River’. ‘Julie With…’ encapsulates the textures, moods and melodies that make Eno’s work incredible, while ‘Spider And I’ brings Before and After Science to a warm and uplifting conclusion.
Before and After Science is another astonishing entry into Eno’s solo canon, and it’s the end of an era; after this he concentrated on production and ambient albums.