My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Penguin Cafe Orchestra is the first album from the band of the same name. The album was recorded and released in 1976 on Brian Eno’s experimental record label.
What I think: If you’ve read many of my posts, you will know I’m not a huge fan of experimental or ambient types of music. Just from the cover of this one you know that’s what it’s going to be. This album surprises me in many places though. I’d say it’s about 50% enjoyment to 50% too weird for me. Take the song “Milk” for example, it sounds like a bunch of angry German’s decided to drop acid and put the results on tape. In other places though, there is a lot of beauty in the music. The title track “Penguin Cafe Single” is one of these, “A Sydney Motel” is another, the ultimate though is the haunting and beautifully sad “The Sound of Someone You Love Who’s Going Away and It doesn’t Matter”. This twelve minute piece is full of tender and delicate guitar, electric piano, strings, and xylophone (?). It’s a Radiohead-ish song title with a Radiohead blueprint done in an organic way that they would seem to emulate in an more bleepy electronic manner.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Even though half the record isn’t to my liking, I was overall pleasantly surprised with this one. Keep the Eno produced records coming.
Rating (Out of 5) 3.0
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (288/372)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%