I had an epic 100k ride yesterday and today it’s cool, windy and drizzly. So at the time of this writing I’m not a 100% convinced I’m even going out yet; much less for anything challenging or difficult. At best, I’ll just be completing my easy 60 minute goal for my weekend “long run” (10.19k). With that being said, if I do go out I’ll be listening to the newest album by Brian Eno, ‘The Ship‘.
This album was released just 2 days ago on April 29th on Warp Records. As far as which number of albums Eno has released by this point, is anybody’s guess, but I do know that this album Eno’s first solo album to contain actual vocals since 2005’s ‘Another Day on Earth‘.
Originally conceived from experiments with three dimensional recording techniques and formed in two, interconnected parts, ‘The Ship‘ is almost as much musical novel as traditional album. Eno brings together beautiful songs, minimalist ambience, physical electronics, omniscient narratives and technical innovation into a single, cinematic suite.
The album opens with the 21-minute eponymously titled ‘The Ship‘ on which Eno’s cyclically sung sea-chant builds in ominous drama, followed by ‘Fickle Sun‘, a song in three movements. The first continues where ‘The Ship‘ left off but with Eno’s voice sounding more upfront, determined, even despairing. The album’s finale is a Lou Reed penned cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Set Free‘ who, coincidentally, were famously credited by Eno as the inspiration behind his early music explorations as an art student.
In the end, I did end up going out. Having said that, I struggled a bit on my out and back coarse along the Friendship Trail as my legs still felt mushy after yesterday’s century ride. Hell, how fast can you really go when you’re listening to something that would be better served as a yoga soundtrack anyway? For the first 5k or so I was paced by a father jogging with his son on a tricycle if that gives you any idea of the pace I was keeping; not that I had intended on going any faster mind you. And then at the 7k point I just…stopped…and walked.
Could I have kept going? Sure. Absolutely.
Did I want to? Shit no.
I just wanted to go slow and enjoy 500m or so of coolness…so I did.
If I’ve been trying to learn anything this year from the new coach, it’s the “art of recovery”; go hard when you can and then back off when you need to and, today, was just a “back off” kind of day. That’s it. I don’t necessarily need to get in any specific mileage or pace anymore, so I decided to walk for a bit which, when set to Eno’s apocalyptic vision of the Velvet’s classic, was kind of surreal and enjoyable. Afterwards, I started back up and headed for home…my 60 minutes complete.