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Brian Eno - Ambient 1 - Music for Airports CD (album) cover

AMBIENT 1 - MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS

Brian Eno

 

Progressive Electronic

3.61 | 200 ratings

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Kempokid
4 stars It's undeniable that Brian Eno's Ambient 1 is an album that has garnered much attention and interest as the years have gone by, and how could it not with such a formidable reputation behind it? Being coined as one of the landmark ambient albums is quite the title to live up to, and especially intriguing with a genre as abstract as this, after all, what exact qualities would actually go into creating an amazingly regarded ambient album? Listening through this album makes me think that it's definitely partially how it can create a mood and be beautiful, all without ever being distracting in nature, alternatively, as Eno himself put it "Ignorable as it is interesting". While I definitely believe that this album's legacy is a large part of the acclaim it still gets to this day, I also definitely see the appeal in it, despite personally finding other ambient projects to be somewhat more engaging throughout.

The composition of each track on this album as a whole represents a very minimal sense of progression throughout, relatively short loops repeating for long periods of time as subtle changes are made in order to accompany the serene, beautiful atmosphere as a whole. These subtle changes are what really add that quality to the music where it is able to be intently listened to without feeling boring. 1/1 demonstrates this in the best way, the forefront being centred around a central, minimalistic piano melody that feels as if it loops around endlessly, with low droning permeating the majority of the track, creating an absolutely perfect atmosphere that's immersive without being attention grabbing, able to appeal to both those listening to this in the background, while having a lot to love when closely focusing on the smaller details. The most impressive thing about this track and why it stands out so clearly from most other ambient material is how it is one of the single most relaxing pieces of music I've come across, with such memorability despite being so minimalistic. The tracks that make use of what sounds like a choir Are also quite intriguing to me for being able to sound so grandiose and powerful with so little to work from. The looping feels far less obvious here as well, due to the primary melody being far less defined, providing a more hypnotic experience that I also enjoy quite a bit, even if I find it to end extremely abruptly whenever that particular track ends, breaking some of the immersion to some extent, along with overall sounding a bit hollow. I personally feel that this is an album that there really isn't much to talk about outside of what I've mentioned, as it follows a very similar sort of sound and approach throughout with the same core features, really nailing the beauty regardless.

I can definitely see both sides of the argument for and against this album, given how this is so pleasant and singular in its appraoch that it's quite easy to understand possible distaste people would have towards this, especially with the amount of more multifaceted ambient out there, even by Eno himself. That said, this very singular, cohesive approach allows the atmosphere and tone it sets to absolutely flourish and create a truly beautiful experience, even if it can feel a bit lacking at times in the process. Nonetheless, I believe that this is a worthwhile album to at least give a listen to once, especially if you're interested in ambient music, because no matter what way you look at it, this is an album that is considered an absolute landmark despite its shortcomings in areas, and I for one think that much of the praise it gets is deserved, as this is a wonderfully calming, beautiful album.

Verdict: An ambient classic that manages to make loops repeated ad nauseum a surprisingly compelling, lovely listen, especially with the amazing tone and atmosphere it has throughout, but definitely simplistic regardless.

Kempokid | 4/5 |

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