Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Fripp & Eno

  • No Pussyfooting [Antilles, 1975] B+
  • Evening Star [Antilles, 1976] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

No Pussyfooting [Antilles, 1975]
Although art-rockers praise Fripp's undulating phased guitar and Eno's mood-enhancing synthesizer drones, they also complain that it all gets a little, well, monotonous after a while. That's the problem with art-rockers--they don't know much about art. I think these two twenty-minute duets, recorded more than two years ago, are the most enjoyable pop electronics since Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air, achieving their goal with admirable formal concision. What do the bored ones want? Can't have meter shifts 'cause there's no beat, can't have bad poetry because there's no vocalist, can't have fancy chord changes 'cause there's no key center. What's left is tranquility amid the machines, more visionary and more romantic than James Taylor could dream of being. Highlight: the unrestrained snake guitar on the unfortunately titled "Swastika Girls." B+

Evening Star [Antilles, 1976]
This time F&E take dead aim at the hit single they so manifestly deserve by breaking their magic music into four distinct pieces on side one, but as a result I find the total effect more static--the endings are disconcertingly arbitrary, while No Pussyfooting's full sides just keep on moving. Special award for the simulated scratch that decorates "An Index of Metals"--one of the most reassuringly fallible moments ever recorded. B+