5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Gauche and Ill-informed Book,
This review is from: Brian Eno's Another Green World (33 1/3) (Paperback)
Geeta Dayal's lengthy, self-absorbed preface describes, in great detail, how difficult she found the writing of this insubstantial book. And it's impossible to deny that her discomfort and awkwardness shine out of the text. It reads like a bundle of hastily scribbled notes for a book she lacked the genuine desire - or more likely the actual ability - to write.
Dayal says she wanted "to write an exploratory book on the ideas underpinning the music". The result however, is a work in which she sprinkles fleeting mentions of cybernetics, Fluxus and architecture, amongst a batch of over familiar cut and pasted interview quotes.
Her writing is meandering, uneven and unfocussed, whilst her powers of description are severely lacking. Especially when it comes to music itself. For example, the best description she can summon up to define Eno's single `The Seven Deadly Finns' is "goofy". She also describes the single version of Kraftwork's 'Autobahn' as "goofy". She finds the liner notes to Lou Reed's `Metal Machine Music' "goofy". The chorus of Eno's `I'll Come Running' is "goofy". Even Marshall McLuhan's I Ching style Distant Early Warning cards are apparently "goofy". Meanwhile, Eno's own Oblique Strategy cards are singled out as being "quirky".
Repeated use of such glib and incongruous short hand to define this wide range of cultural artifacts serves to complete the impression of an author capable of only a very shallow reading of her subject matter. Her description of Can, Cluster and Harmonia as "offbeat German bands" is laughably simplistic. Unfortunately, "offbeat" is another of Dayal's favorite catch-all words. A number of Eno's life experiences were apparently "offbeat". His art tutor Roy Ascott's teaching methods were "offbeat". The mix of musicians on `Another Green World' is "offbeat". And so on. No insights, just bland and lazy labelling.
With her endless repetition and seemingly limited vocabulary, Dayal comes over as gauche and ill-informed, with only a superficial grasp of Eno's work and the concepts and influences which inspire him.