(Planet Me)
Thursday, May 15, 2014

As is often the way, the more diverse an artists work becomes the more diluted the idea of identity is. After umpteen years in Underworld, Hyde took his first solo steps last year with “Edgeland” and now, his second album is a full on collaboration with Brian Eno called “Someday World”. I speak of this as a fan of Underworld, and a casual admirer of Eno, and to be frank, the lines are blurred here. Clearly, there's lashings of the man who used to sing in Underworld here, with the familiar vocal styles, the soundscapes, and as the album progresses, the material steps into its own with “Witness” and “Strip It Down” being far more accessable and immediate than Hyde's first album, the stuttery “Edgeland”.

As the record progresses, the material becomes ever more effective, and whilst never at the heart-in-mouth tempo or grandeur of latter day modern Underworld material, the songs and music are a more gentle, more considered, dare I say it mature, approach, replete with Hyde's soaring vocals, nonsense profound lyrics, and general touch, which makes this sound exactly like what would happen if Eno made an album with Karl Hyde (which is exactly what this is, of course). It's mostly a success, but “When I built This World” is utter b-side fodder that cannot end fast enough with atonal string lines and a incoherent arrangement. The album picks up on the expanded second disc with the 'deluxe' edition, (which is now shorthand for where songs that used to be b-sides now live), with “Celebration” being a exciting and vibrant track, possibly the most fun thing from the album. Overall though, “Someday World” is Hyde taking a step up from his somewhat anaemic debut, meeting a collaborator at least his equal, and creating a new and intruiging new direction.

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