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


Harold Budd


Progressive Electronic

3.99 | 77 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Plateaux of Mirror, compared to Harold Budd's debut effort, is much more stripped down, composed almost entirely of acoustic/electric piano with Brian Eno providing dreamy treatments to round off all of the edges.

This album is severely minimalist in tone with an impressionistic vibe, also being much more classical sounding than the previous jazz-influenced The Pavillion of Dreams. Fortunately, this floating heavenly minimalist piano style is much more fitting for this artist and would later be used on a follow-up collaboration between Budd and Eno. Though the piano and the chord progressions played on this album along with the celestial ambient accompaniment is undoubtedly beautiful in an extreme way, I personally find that The Plateaux of Mirror is far too redundant. The same tone goes on an on and gets old very quickly because there really isn't anything to grasp onto, but for an ambient album it serves its purpose quite well.

Despite the boring beauty of the majority of this album, the last three tracks really stand out because they change up the formula a bit. Although I hear shades of E. Satie all throughout this album, his influence sounds particularly strong on "Among Fields of Crystal", a slow and and mournful like a dirge written for a long lost love, and is accompanied by a slightly more standout ambient soundscape that sounds long and empty like a dark corridor in a large mansion. "Wind in Lonely Fences" is the most purely ambient track that features various klanging from dull bells and other hollow metallic objects with only a faint and moody electric piano melody. "Failing Light" sounds strongly of Eno, mostly like an ambient take from the classic Another Green World where the synths have a special kind of waving quality that is both dream-like and playful.

Though Harold Budd and Brian Eno have crafted one of the most sparsely beautiful and heavenly piano-based ambient albums of all times, having become a classic in the genre, it just doesn't move along quite enough for it to be anything for me other than contemplative background noise. Regardless, fans of minimalist or very laid back impressionist piano will find a lot of enjoyment in The Plateaux of Mirror.

colorofmoney91 | 3/5 |


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