By This River: the maturity of love according to Brian Eno

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Dreaming is a complex journey. Sometimes, however, it is easier… especially when you listen to Before And After Science, Brian Eno’s album. One of the best works by the pioneer of “ambient” music and one of our favorite LP ever. An album where the irresistible power of Phil Collins’ percussions and drums, the cavernous throbbing of Percy Jones’ fretless bass and the saucy humming of the synth, pass through us, leaving an indelible mark. By This River, in particular, is always part of the ideal playlist to bring on a desert island. A rarefied atmosphere, Eno singing in resignation mood, the piano and the keyboards are cherished, like making a precious fabric. A composition that is a yawn of soul, a meditation, a masterpiece of calm.

Like every masterpiece, you can give different meanings to the lyrics. I like to think that the “river” is nothing but the metaphor of love and the “ocean” represents the maturity of the feeling, the point of arrival. At first it scares, you feel hypnotized, blown, but then you understand that this confusion is only momentary. You get lost to find yourself. A return to the origin, because the mouth, where the river seems to disappear in the ocean, is a containment space, a hug that holds the river, keeping his course alive.

The lyrics sweetly narrate the evolution of every love. Impetuous and vibrant as the water of a river source,  then calm, relaxed like an ocean. A calm that can frighten, because it makes you think that the passion, the motivation, is lost on the way… but if you look better, the ocean is much larger, much more important, the limits of the river are over and the home where you’ll live and enjoy the maturity of your feelings is immense.

You can find below the lyrics:

“Here we are
Stuck by this river
You and I
Underneath a sky that’s ever falling down, down, down
Ever falling down

Through the day
As if on an ocean
Waiting here
Always failing to remember why we came, came, came
I wonder why we came

You talk to me
As if from a distance
And I reply
With impressions chosen from another time, time, time
From another time”

Rating: 5.0/5. From 2 votes.
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One comment

  1. I think you should have mentioned Moebius and Roedelius for their collaboration on the piece, remember Eno worked with Cluster in 1977 and they released two albums in ’77 and ’78.


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