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Brian Eno - Lux CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.31 | 26 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Here's your brain teaser for the day: how do you review an album of music that isn't meant to be actively listened to? Brian Eno's latest (to date) release marks a return to the purity of his ambient roots, presenting 75-minutes of ethereal soundscapes designed to merge at a subliminal level with the environment other words: music to be deliberately ignored.

The new album revisits ground already broken by Eno years ago, in "Music for Airports", "Thursday Afternoon" and elsewhere: fabricating serene and soothing aural moods from minimal piano notes and atmospheric electronics, assisted here by Leo Abrahams on Moog Guitar (an instrument that resembles the latter but functions like the former), and by Neil Catchpole on violins and viola. The full piece (in twelve sections, according to Eno's website, but good luck finding the separations) was commissioned to play in The Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria in Turin, Italy, where presumably the architecture itself became an integral part of the experience.

But does it make any sense as a stand-alone CD? Probably, but the results will likely appeal more to fans who thought albums like "Neroli" and "The Shutov Assembly" were too dark and edgy. There are hints of melody throughout, half-heard in a waking dream, and slight differences between each of the four indexed sections, but the variations are so subtle and the changes so gradual that they pass unnoticed, which of course was the aim.

The achievement is hardly unique, but few artists do this sort of thing better than Brian Eno. And while it may do nothing to repair our collective internet-damaged attention span, the calming effect of its slowly unfolding 75 unbroken minutes offers a brief respite from this too wired 21st century.

The answer to the opening brain teaser should have been obvious, by the way. The best way to evaluate an album not meant to be heard is to write a review not meant to be read. Doing otherwise with either one is probably a waste of time, as you've no doubt just discovered.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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