Working with ambient-rock demigod Brian Eno can have an effect on a dearly innovative British studio team, as it has on James with two previous ear-boggling efforts, both with Father Eno at the helm. Whiplash, James’ seventh album in several busy but broken years, still resounds with ambient Enoaesthetics, where even signature silences mark time in terms of sound. Old hand at synthetic pop and psonicadelia, Stephen Hague keeps the Eno wave alive with spacy zen minutes on the synth in “Watering Hole,” as well as strange house dance gyrations on “Greenpeace,” a happy, creaky piece. It’s argued that Tim Booth sounds too much like Al Stewart but 1) Al Stewart sounds great, so? and, 2) no he doesn’t really, but the energy-factor point is well taken. “Tomorrow” would be a great song sung by, say, Eddie Vedder or James Brown, but great vocal energy is a curious element to blend here among these complex quicksilver musicsmiths. One of the better vocally-driven tunes is probably the sardonic, techno-silly “Go to the Bank,” which winds up being the weirdest cut on another adventurous outing for James.