What isn’t there to say about the great Brian Eno? This English musician, composer, producer, singer, writer, you name it, has gone on to become one of the most influential and innovate figures in music. Over the years he has been responsible for a variety of work that covers electronic, pop, rock, and ambient elements in his music. His discography is that of unique wonder and talent as he explores these sounds, embodying the music with theory and emotion over ridged technicality. With this immense collection of work, Eno has recently released his 26th studio record, Reflection.
Similar to past work like his 1985 record Thursday Afternoon, Reflection is a single 54-minute ambient track. The year before we saw his four track album The Ship, which used multiple instrumental components, along with beautiful vocals, to deliver fascinating storytelling. Reflection includes no vocals, and to be frank: its progression flows about fairly simple. There are no guitars, drums, or bass at all, but pure ambient energy in drones and keys. From the very beginning the track drones on, the only changing aspects being the electronic keys. These tone shifts range from light too dense as they pop throughout the song. It should be made clear however that while the technical progression appears “simple”, this is not a simple or standard song.
Eno states that the track encourages an internal dialogue, and a sense of thinking back on life. This is music that through its use of minimalism, allows for grand exploration. Between the electronic keys that pop throughout there is a space that gives room to this thought. The keys act as a meditative sense of stability in the droning. It isn’t music that necessarily throws lots of elements at you and asks you to process it all, but gives you the space to reflect within it. Music of this caliber acts as a tool that balances this sort of reflection internally and externally.
Reflection is a profoundly unique work that has the ability to generate a different experience for every listener. The ambient serenity of Reflection marks one of Brain Eno’s most proudest achievements. In a world that may appear as it is flying off the rails, and information and people fly by us on a daily basis… Reflection asks the listener to stop and listen.