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Harold Budd - Ambient 2 - The Plateaux Of Mirror (with Brian Eno) CD (album) cover

AMBIENT 2 - THE PLATEAUX OF MIRROR (WITH BRIAN ENO)

Harold Budd

 

Progressive Electronic

3.86 | 51 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The famous Ambient saga continues, started, with "Ambient 1:Music For Airports" and ended, with "Ambient 4: On Land", by Brian Eno. In the two middle albums, including the album I'm about to review, he asks for external help: in this one Harold Budd performs the songs. In the following "Ambient 3", Laraaji does all the work, while Eno produces.

"Ambient 2: The Plateaux Of Mirror" continues with that style that already was starting to develop in "Discreet Music", and reached it's peak with "Ambient 1:Music For Airports". That style, or better calling it genre, is known as ambient music, which gives a part of the title of this album. Only this time, it's bleaker than ever; minimalism is the main influence, like in "Discreet Music", the music has a very low volume, and sure does create an atmosphere, sometimes very effectively, sometimes less. The moods aren't sad sounding like in "Ambient 1", but still very melancholic and distant. The instruments, unlike the 1975 album, are a little less monotone; there's an electric piano played by Budd, with different arrangements by Eno. Sometimes other instruments come along, for a brief period of time.

It's difficult to truly understand what Budd and Eno tried to give to us with this album; a, nostalgic, bleak journey through deserted rural landscapes, like the cover would suggest, or just a collection of relaxing, but evocative and sometimes a little disturbing songs? It is nice to think about the first option, since I love interpreting an album as a sort of trip, like the one I had with almost all the albums I have listened to.

Not all the songs are good, but the ones that are would definitely be "First Light", a perfect summary of the rest of the album, the ethereal bleakness of the title track, the wonderfully limpid atmosphere that is created with "An Arc Of Doves", or the very similar to "First Light", "Failing Light", that ends the album, like if the album was a representation of one full day.

A good album, there is no doubt in that, and even though the structure of the album is more than good, the songs don't always deliver emotions, like in the near perfect masterpiece "On Land" or in the previous one "Ambient 1". But still, I would give it a try. 3.5 stars.

EatThatPhonebook | 3/5 |

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