Brian Eno – Lux – 97%

When I first started listening to post-rock and ambient music, one of the first albums I found was Brian Eno‘s ‘Music for Airports’. I remember sitting in my room, transfixed, as this new genre of music started to change the purview of my limited musical knowledge. I started listening to every ambient album I could find, but something about Eno made me constantly go back. I eventually found myself playing a loop of his ambient albums, his albums with Robert Fripp, and my personal favorite: ‘Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks’Eno changed my perception of what music could do.

 Now I sit here after spending the past few weeks listening to Brian Eno’s latest album, ‘Lux‘, and finding myself remembering and reliving why his music is so beautiful. There is no singular stunning track on this album that builds to a peak or follows a stereotypical structure. This album is made of four tracks that have their own distinctions, but those distinctions are set in compliment with each other. That means that this album is easily perceived as one long track, and there’s nothing I can see that would be wrong about such an assumption.

The music takes Eno back to the roots of his creation—ambient music. You could call this Ambient 5 and I don’t think you’d be too far off.  To compare this to an earlier work is something I’m not keen on doing. I will say that if you’re a fan of ‘Apollo’, ‘Discreet Music’ or even ‘The Plateaux of Mirror’, you’ll love this album.

So what does it sound like? That’s a tricky question. Each track is calm and lucid, punctuated by the chime of piano keys. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a simplistic pattern being repeated and altered throughout each track. The album is minimalistic and reflects Eno’s famous idea that this is music that can be ignored. Turn the volume halfway down and do something else. The music will move you in some way. I can imagine this album becoming a favorite of those that love falling asleep to tranquil sounds. I find myself doing the same.

The album has a soothing and almost pensive effect on the listener. Describing exactly what this is seems to take away from the point. What Brian Eno has produced is something beautiful and something worth hearing. He’s stepped back into the world of ambiance to show how it’s done.

For what it is meant to be, this album is as close to perfect as it comes. Brian Eno proves again that he is one of the leading musicians of our age. Listen to this album at home before bed or during a morning commute. See what the simplicity of the notes does to you and you’ll see power of ambient music.

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