Music for Films
Ambient, Drone, Experimental
1978 - 40:39
Ahh, Brian Eno, the father of ambient music. Sure he wasn’t the only one making ambient tunes back in the day, but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the earliest and most significant members of the movement. I have quite a number of his albums, including a good amount of compilations (because Eno & Fripp were born to make music together), and you will see various reviews of said albums popping up here from time to time. I have to say though, this album is not one of my favourites in Eno’s long career (he’s over 60 years old and still making music!), though it’s not his worst.
This album, you might guess, contains a collection of music for films. If you did guess that, you would be wrong, though understandably. In reality, the album contains music for imaginary films. A sort of faux-soundtrack, really.
The album opens with the disappointing "Aragon", but quickly makes up for it with the next few tracks then, seventeen tracks later, "Final Sunset"—the longest track on the album, pulling in a ‘lengthy’ 4:11—starts the credit roll. Yes, this album has uncharacteristically short song lengths, but I believe it contributes to the overall concept of the album; because really, most films don’t have scenes that go on for twenty minutes straight, with the same music playing throughout.
There were a few disappointing songs on the album, which only managed to elicit an “I’ve heard better, but whatever” response from me (aka. 3.5 stars)—the opening track, "There Is Nobody", and "Patrolling Wire Borders", specifically. Of course, there are beautiful tracks like "Inland Sea" and "Strange Light" that more than make up for the weaker tracks.
Interestingly enough, I might actually recommend this as a good starting point for anyone interested in exploring Brian Eno’s vast discography. The album has a handful of short drone tracks, which give a good sample for the epics Eno often crafts; there are a number of experimental and post-rock based tracks, which present a good idea of the albums Eno has done in those fields; and, of course, the ambient and electronica on the album provides a good intro to the rest of his discography well, with the songs being of similarly short lengths. Really, it’s as if the album is a concise Brian Eno demo tape.
Favourite Song: Alternative 3
Least Favourite: Aragon