There’s a light but pervasive melancholy that surrounds FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE, Brian Eno’s 22nd solo album—a sense of weightlessness that feels both blissful and a little threatening. Are we cruising safely through the clouds or are our wings about to burn (“Icarus or Blériot”)? Are our lives too busy to consider the microscopic worms in the ground beneath our feet, especially when they don’t participate in capitalism (“Who Gives a Thought”)? How long will the world go on without us (“Garden of Stars”)? As much as these songs are elegies for a vanishing future, they’re also beautiful meditations on the fragility of the present—a mode Eno has been working in comfortably since the mid-’70s. The sound design is as beautiful and expansive as you’d expect, and Eno’s voice—an underrated instrument—is both common and quietly transcendent, the sound of a boy wandering an empty earth. He’s always interesting. But this is one of the first times in years he’s sounded so vital.

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