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Brian Eno - Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks (OST) CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.80 | 117 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (quite a long name, don't you think?) throughout his career has exercised a liking for making music in a number of very varied genres and styles. Ambient, however, seems to be his favourite, and the genre he most consistently excels in. Justifiably, he is known throughout the world for being the father of electronic ambient music. The fellow is quite ingenious at creating that liquid music, which I very much like to refer to as mush. Ambient is a very modern take on classical minimalism (though Apollo, specifically, has less minimalism than other releases). Eno quickly took to the electronic equipment available at the time (1975 being, arguably, the year his music first began the ambient approach) and the musical engineer (and sometimes, technical engineer) in him took over.

This begins as one of the more fluid ambient albums he has done throughout his career. In many cases, his influences from minimalism take over, and he will create a seventeen minute track with a simple, but effective, piano line repeating virtually statically, with absolutely no changes; with subtle waves of synthesizers washing on top. This case: Apollo, is different, and instead we have a more vaporous approach, with very little structure at all. I like to think that all the styles of each song, all the methods, approach, atmospheres, and moods of each song are distinct: and that may be true. To an untrained ear, and to an impatient mind, there is no difference between any of the tracks. A closer look will quickly dismiss that assumption; though many of the differences are painfully subtle. No one song lasts long, which leaves room for much gradual evolution.

The perpetual sea of music begins light and bright, subtler and uplifting. You can feel the emptiness of the void that inspired the music closing in around you. But over time, very gradually (as is the nature of this style of music) the musical storyline develops, and the music begins to take a mildly darker sound. A real change of things comes with Silver Morning, features a guitar of some description. And it is not played in some sinister, dark, swelling fashion - no, it's strummed, and plays an almost western-styled song. Where did this come from? To me, the change is odd, and the song seems a little misplaced. However, the mood it creates is not contrasting to the album, and it certainly does not last long, so I do not personally find it ruins the album's experience in any way.

After this short distraction, a less runny ambient style is adopted, and a more conventional take is in use (if ever so slightly). Even with these small changes to the mood, everything remains otherworldly and surreal, and still puts the listener in that head space. Few albums can successfully do this, and keep it up. It renders the listener to a transcending state of mind, and gives that weightless feel. Apollo is one of the few albums that genuinely captures me, albeit a bizarre and slow world it takes me.

(P.S. This is certainly music best listened to with headphones, and even better at night alone.)

Shakespeare | 3/5 |


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