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Harold Budd - Harold Budd & Brian Eno: The Pearl CD (album) cover


Harold Budd


Progressive Electronic

3.92 | 63 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Despite it's unassuming title 'The Pearl' does indeed live up to the high praise heaped upon it. Dreamy, and good medicine for these dark days in the west where everything seems to be falling apart at the seems.

This is a heavily piano dominated album, but it's a piano permanently loaded with delay, creating a ghostlike atmosphere - almost like a house that has been uninhabited for 50 years.

The 11 short tracks are very well conceived where Budd wisely realises that lengthy ones aint gonna cut the mustard. They are made all the more memorable due to the influence of Brian Eno. One of the greatest talents Eno had was not overshadowing the artists he worked with and unlike the equally high scoring but mostly soundscapey 'On Land' by Eno, 'The Pearl' wins hands down due to the fact that each tune is entirely memorable and actually carries a melody.

'The Pearl' is basically a sequel to the wonderful but colder 'Plateaux of Mirror' released four years earlier. This however, sounds even more haunting but carries more tunes at the same time. It's also a much clearer recording and each track appears to be inhabited by spectres.

Quite simply 'The Pearl' is perfect. It's ethereal rather than classical. Earthy more than electronic, and possibly my second favourite album of all time next to 'Within the Realm' by 'Dead Can Dance'.

Brian Eno, as on many of his collaborations is the unseen genius that raises this album way above the status it would have had otherwise. You only have to listen to solo Harold Budd to realise his shortcomings. His solo albums were far more staid and static. 'The Pearl' flows beautifully - like a stream. Eno adds things on so many subliminal levels which at first aren't realised, but seem to blossom like ever more colourful flowers each time you hear this album. He, in my mind, is what elevates this to 5 stars.

A drifting, sometimes sombre but unpretentious and angelic recording which sounds like No Man's Land in the Somme in 1916 after the slaughter.

Dobermensch | 5/5 |


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