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Harold Budd - The Room CD (album) cover

THE ROOM

Harold Budd

 

Progressive Electronic

3.04 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Back to the style of more ambient compositions.

After a stretch of two interesting and beautiful albums, Harold Budd regresses once again to the style that he is most known for: impressionistic ambient piano-based compositions. That being said, The Room is a bit different from similarly styled The Pleateaux of Mirror mostly because of it's tendency to stay on the darker side. Whereas compositions on the aforementioned album were occasionally uplifting and ethereal because of "happy" chord progressions and suffocating reverb, here the reverb is toned down considerably to offer a lonelier and earthlier effect, and the chord progressions are noticeably gloomier. As far as the atmosphere of The Room goes, I'd say it's got a similar effect to the great Abandoned Cities -- if Abandoned Cities was the soundtrack to a post- apocalyptic overcast city, this album is the soundtrack to each individual gray room in every empty building. The music isn't as forceful or vast, but still creates the same feeling of abandonment in a much more intimate setting.

Although The Room is largely piano-based, there are still enhancements from various other keyboards and synths to create a more varied piano-based album than The Plateaux of Mirror, and the compositions themselves have more clearly stated melodic lines that put in place a greater emotional grasp that Plateaux almost lacked entirely. But, even if the compositions are stronger, that doesn't necessarily make this album extremely interesting. To be honest, this album is somewhat boring, but I've always been more keen on Budd's more grandiose ambient synth soundscape power than his somber piano playing, though it'd be ridiculous to not at least recognize the obvious beauty that comes naturally through his piano playing, and it's also obvious that he greatly enjoyed composing for the instrument because his emotions are always able to be felt in everything he composes.

The best way to describe The Room is the depressing nacht musik brother of Plateaux with a stronger sense of compositional direction and emotional strength. Regardless of it not being among Harold Budd's most powerful work, I do believe that it is one of his best piano-based albums, mostly for the deeply affecting depressing tone.

colorofmoney91 | 3/5 |

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