Brian Eno / Jan Peter Schwalm

Drawn from Life

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Following four years after The Drop, Drawn From Life sees Brian Eno collaborating with German DJ J. Peter Schwalm. (Music for Onmyo-Ji, a previous Eno/Schwalm work from 2000, was released in Japan only.) Those who soured at the distant crispness of The Drop will find this to be a more inviting listen, even more so than Eno's 1996 collaboration with bassist Jah Wobble on Spinner. Jazzy, shuffling rhythms and strings that sway from cutting to sighing lay the foundation of most of the tracks, with some repetitive nonmusical effects often falling somewhere in the mix. If there is a fault of the record, it's that the vocals often get in the way of some fine background listening. If you don't have an affinity for Laurie Anderson's voice, you might be troubled that "Like Pictures, Pt. 2," which otherwise happens to be one of the record's most melodic and tranquil tracks, is interrupted by her intonations. One might find the babbling contributions from Eno's young daughters on "Bloom" to be far less obstructive, but that's because they're more a part of the fabric of the song, rather than an interruption or distraction. There's plenty to enjoy for devoted Eno fans, although nothing truly sticks in the mind after the most attentive listen.

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