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Harold Budd - Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd: Before The Day Breaks CD (album) cover


Harold Budd


Progressive Electronic

3.04 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Following Mysterious Skin, Harold Budd decided to again work with Robin Guthrie on a couple more albums, that are fairly similar to the former.

Before the Day Breaks follows in the same ambient vein as its soundtrack predecessor album, consisting of distant ambient keyboard, twangy clean-toned guitar picking, and floating ambient synths that consume the background while the two main instruments weave their sound within, creating an ambient style that is essentially extremely chilled out post-rock sans percussion and crescendos, and it kind of all sounds better that way.

The atmosphere created on Before the Day Breaks is very depressing, which I've always considered Harold Budd to be good at. The mood created here is very similar to that of The Room albeit a bit more dense as a result of slightly expanded instrumentation. Whereas The Room creates guided imagery of an empty room that overlooks a scene of beauty affected by some type of perpetual gloom, this album rather creates guided imagery of an abandoned house that has been left in ruins, but the past beauty of the construct is inherently obvious from the size of the lot and the overgrown garden in the field behind, and this is the soundtrack to traversing the ruins and assimilating the decrepit, mysterious environment.

Though, compared to Mysterious Skin, this album isn't varied much at all, even if the previous album also contained little variation. All of the songs tend to sound the same and, after the first few tracks, the differences between tracks seem to become less noticeable from sheer lack of interest. "Turn On the Moon" is the only track that stood out to me in the beginning because of it's light electronic beat that guides a gentle southern rock meets Goo Goo Dolls ballad type of guide melody, but overall is rather uninteresting. "She is My Weakness" eventually presented itself as a standout with it's odd staccato keyboard chords, but isn't necessarily a great song nor does it really add to my exaggerated atmospheric imagery.

But, compared to many artists in the ambient genre, Before the Day Breaks shows that Harold Budd remains more competent at the art of creating affecting atmospheres through the bare minimum of chord progressions that direct profoundly dense atmospheres than many other artists could dream of creating. Though there isn't any intense musicality to be impressed with here, it's a pleasant listening experience and an emotional journey if you allow it to be.

colorofmoney91 | 3/5 |


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