The latest album by Brian Eno has him returning to the style which began so brilliant with his first ambient album ‘Ambient 1: Music For Airports’. Anyone familiar with this particular style of Eno will know it usually involves long tracks featuring ambient drones that either build up or fade away. It is a style that Eno has perfected over the years, (though that being said, it was perfect when he began it in the first place).
The overall tone of ‘Lux’ feels much different to Eno’s earlier work. The album consists of four songs, all of which range around the 20-minute mark. The thing I find with ambient music is that it requires the listener to just sit back, and allow the music to just wash over them. ‘Lux’ is perfect for this, as the music is almost gentle in tone, with each sound being incredibly relaxing, and almost dreamlike. The image it conjures up for me is almost expressed in it’s album artwork, of just walking through a park in a beautiful Autumn day, or perhaps even just staring out of one’s window and watching the whole world go by. It’s a relaxing image, and one that is consistent throughout the whole album, which differentiates it from Eno’s previous ambient works, which are sometimes much more darker in tone.
It’s a challenging album though, as it doesn’t really reward the attentive listener. Everything is placed in the background, with nothing truly ever occupying the foreground at any point. As the sounds slowly evolve and change, it still remains in the background, which for an album like this actually works, but I can’t help but feel that it could be more preferable if there was something in the music to reward the listeners. However, this is almost irrelevant, as with this album being an ambient installation, (I believe it was used in art galleries), the main focus isn’t meant to be the music, and instead it is designed to occupy the background whilst your main attention is on something else.
I feel Eno has done himself well with this album. It is perfect to listen to when you just want something on that will affect your mood, but almost without you ever having to pay too much attention too. It’s a great ambient album, although I’ll say right now that it won’t become one of my personal favourites. What’s to come of Eno next is anybody’s guess now, but I sure do hope that another ambient work is in store.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- The flow of the album makes it difficult/impossible to select any of the songs as standing out. Or at least it does for me…