The collaboration of experimental super-producer Brian Eno and Underworld’s unconstrained vocalist Karl Hyde for the album Someday World is a dream pairing. The longstanding artists have the reputation of coloring outside the lines, using visual and emotional elements as part of their music-making process as much as instruments—both conventional and otherwise.
Corralling the youthful Fred Gibson as co-producer, Someday World isn’t a couple of old geezers indulging themselves—but it’s not as groundbreaking as one would expect from creators of this caliber. Featuring a host of guest musicians, including Coldplay’s Will Champion and Eno’s old bandmate, Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay, Someday World is an electronic album of the light dance variety. Faster in tempo than Eno’s ambient compositions but slower than Hyde’s heart-pumping ones, Someday World is a listening album.
Sparse drum patterns underscore “Witness,” which whirls into a mesmerizing cacophony with Hyde’s signature repetitive lyrics further pushing the listener into a hypnotic space. “Daddy’s Car”—easily the highlight of Someday World—slides Hyde’s stream-of-consciousness mutterings into Eno’s edgy synth patchwork. On the other hand, “Mother Of A Dog” fluctuates between the jangling of too many clashing sounds and the spare space of minimalist noise, occasionally stabbed through with a pretty melody.
Still, Someday World doesn’t have the inventiveness of either of its primary musical architects. Most of the album wanders, zany but directionless, among sound effects borrowed from a ’70s action-adventure soundtrack, where one never quite grasps the thread of the confusing storyline.