The Ship

Brian Eno - The Ship
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2016 Ratings: #350 / 760
User Score
Based on 70 ratings
2016 Ratings: #441
April 29, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warp / Label
Ambient / Genres
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A.V. Club

The Ship is a thrilling album, emotionally draining in parts, but more than worth the struggle. Forty-one years after Another Green World, Eno is still foraging for new musical ground, and what he’s able to come up with is nothing short of miraculous.


The Ship proves he has more ideas than ever, and shows there’s still plenty left to be achieved in music.


The Ship is a great, unexpected record. The title track and “Fickle Sun (i)” on their own and as a connected piece of music are marvelous accomplishments, distinctive in Eno’s catalog. And “I’m Set Free” immediately ranks among the most perfect-sounding pop songs Eno has ever had a hand in making.

The Line of Best Fit

Brian Eno has consistently used contemporary music to both reflect his experiences and transform his surroundings, and on The Ship he has managed once again to take listeners somewhere thrilling and new, while rising to the challenge of adding another dimension to a distinctive career filled with innovation and originality.


The Ship is a memorial to and meditation on history and human foibles. Just as importantly, it places an exclamation point on Eno's career as curiosity, experimentation, chance, and form gel; his relentless sense of adventure remains undiminished by time.

Slant Magazine

It's a stealth tour de force, philosophizing savvily, coalescing the full range of the artist's solo output into easily the most meticulously structured album he's put out in years.

Resident Advisor

The Ship, his sixth Warp record in seven years, entwines various threads from these albums into a heady amalgam that stands as his best work for the label to date.

Drowned in Sound
By far the most accessible and pop-sounding recordings he has recorded in years, here the ship Eno references might serve the dual function as symbolising his own soul finding tranquility in the music once again.
Tiny Mix Tapes

The Ship breaks subtle ground by further fractalizing Brian Eno’s creative processes, taking two of his essential forms and blending them methodically into a new kind of strange pop.

Rolling Stone

Eno is always looking for that new fantasy, a look into the shadow world that's fascinated him for so long. The Ship is just his latest interpretation of his vision, his constantly changing illusion, and it's also one of his most accessible albums in recent years.

Consequence of Sound

The Ship finds Eno’s music again foregoing the linear conventions of music and creating a kind of shapeless yet directed sound experience instead. More than that, the album is one in a long series of evidences that Eno’s limitations remain as near mythic as the man himself.

Pretty Much Amazing
Bottom line, I’d check the Velvets cover and half the title track, and leave the rest. Basically, this particular ambient music doesn’t lend much intellectual export or posterity that Eno so often claims to pursue.
The Guardian

Not every experiment comes off, but when they do, The Ship is as idiosyncratic and enrapturing as anything Brian Eno has made.

The beauty is in the texture, nuance and detail with which Eno adorns his work; heard in the ghostly distant echoes and radio frequencies that flicker in the background. It’s almost a lost alien transmission.
Under The Radar

His music isn't known for bearing extreme weight and uncomfortable drone motifs. The Ship is an uncharacteristically loaded LP.


Such surprises make The Ship challenging and unconventional, elements that will surely appeal to Eno's ambient fans, even if they've heard albums like it before.


Conceptually and musically The Ship attempts to dissect the experience of 2016 from the perspective of the ‘70s, so it is no wonder Eno is finding his narratives so illusionary.

Along the course of the years, ambient music has proven to be quite the distinct and complicated genre. The line that divides a masterpiece from a bland piece of music in the canon is often found to be quite thin, and no one better to prove that theory than the genre's master, Brian Eno himself. Throughout his extensive career, he has released a ton of ambient-related records, and even though there are some of which are quite fantastic and creative for their time, the veteran kept seeing his ... read more
What I sought after with Eno wasn't quite what was presented here. It's a small loss.
If all Brian Eno’s records sound like this, then in what rock have I been under all of these years? He’s an amazing producer and singer, this feels like a movie, it could easily be the soundtrack for a Titanic documentary or something, it puts you in the mood and plays gorgeously with the atmosphere. You can hear machines and nature colliding for one of the best ambient records of this year. The length of the tracks it’s perfect, they have their own statement and it’s ... read more
One must approach Eno’s ambient work with an open mind. His vision is one of true artistry. His latest release, “The Ship” makes for a curious listen. As an ambient electronic piece it is uniquely Eno. As an Art-pop piece it is beautiful and unique in the same way the ambient electronic coloring presents itself. The VU cover of “I’m Set Free” is sheer majesty. As I have matured, Eno has as well. Wonderfully so. Each new album is chock full of surprises. And ... read more
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#21/Louder Than War
#25/The Quietus
#37/Q Magazine
#41/Rough Trade

Track List

  1. The Ship
  2. Fickle Sun (I)
  3. Fickle Sun (II) The Hour Is Thin
  4. Fickle Sun (III) I'm Set Free
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Added on: February 24, 2016