Drums Between the Bells
Not only has Brian Eno spent ungodly amounts of time on the forthcoming Coldplay album, and inspired a fun MGMT song on their last album, but he also puts out original material on an almost yearly basis. Last year he gave us the dreamy Small Craft on a Milk Sea (with Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins) and this year he delivers the significantly weirder Drums Between the Bells. A collaboration between Eno and poet Rick Holland, both of whom provide spoken-word vocals, along with a slew of other vocalists. The results, while endlessly fascinating, are mixed — sometimes the poetic words take on a galactic expansiveness when paired with Eno's skittering beats, like if Tree of Life were screened alongside an Ibiza beach party. Other times, though, like on "Sounds Alien," you wish that the vocals would get out of the way of the churning, industrial groove. This record is an undeniably interesting oddity.