IT'S often questioned whether many long-standing, revered artists would gain a foothold in the music industry if they were just starting out today.

In Brian Eno’s case, given the idiosyncratic nature of his genius, that’s definitely debatable. But the man understandably dubbed “the brainiest person in pop” doesn’t have to worry about that, being 25 albums in and, on the evidence of The Ship – influences for which range from the Titanic to The Velvet Underground via the First World War and the march of time – still as adventurous, exploratory, and in thrall to music as ever.

The title track, if that’s an apt description for a 21-minute piece, and Fickle Sun (i), encompass almost the entirety of the album, and where the former drifts and bobs across the waves while failing to realise its potential for adventure, the latter - a sinister, storm-tossed mixture of electronica and brass – is where Eno really bares his teeth and proves his relevance.

On such a dauntless album, though, it’s maybe ironic that the best thing here is Fickle Sun (iii), an ornate, spellbinding cover of the Velvets’ I’m Set Free. But whether he’s looking back or reaching forward, Eno shows that class is permanent.