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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Brian Eno - "Reflection" (Warp Records)


I thnk most of us who have been familiar with Eno's work, can tell what this album is just by its title "Reflection."  Clearly, this is an ambient 50-minute piece of music that doesn't stand out from the other ambient works by Eno.   Still, I have been playing this album (by streaming) every day since it has been released on January 1, 2017.  Considering that we are heading towards unknown and scary territory this year, it seems a nice gentle way of easing into the new mood of the world.  

First of all, this album is available on various streaming platforms as well as CD and vinyl.  The vinyl is a double album, which means one has to change the record every 20 something minutes, which is perfectly fine, but I wonder if it works for this album.  I think it is the type of recording that one just pushes a button and forgets about time. I subscribe to Apple Music, which I use as a radio, or when I'm curious to hear new music. "Reflection" works best when it is not interrupted by the changing of the sides.  The flow here is necessary, and this recording is made for the CD and streaming format.  The one thing I don't know if the music sounds better on the vinyl format.  Nevertheless, I use this music to block out the outside world, especially when I'm writing.

One can also take a very satisfying nap to this album.  I tried it on the second of January - and the length and the soothing sounds is a perfect gateway to the dream world.  Yesterday, I went to the Echo Park library to do work, and the music does it magic in that context as well.   The big question is this better than the other Eno ambient works?   I think the album does its work, and comparing it to other works by Eno is almost a trivial task.   "Reflection" is what it is.  A bridge between the waking life and into the dream world of one's thoughts and feelings.   It's only essential if you need a sound, and "Reflection" works well in that sense.  Eno's "Discreet Music" is a masterpiece, and "Reflection" is just pretty good and does it job well.