CD REVIEW: Brian Eno

Reflections (Warp Records)

Brian Eno takes his place among Phillip Glass and Moondog, fellow meditative innovators too peculiar for mainstream tastes but appreciated by artists and cult followers alike. Eno released his latest project, Reflections, on Jan. 1.

Despite his art being part of a genre that lacks structure and order, and despite the ambiguity, his work remains distinctive nonetheless. Eno characterizes his music as “actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener.”

With a single hour-long track, he creates a series of resonating chords that oscillate between slowly fading to obscurity, like fleeting thoughts. Much like its namesake, Reflections creates a sober, meditative environment that seems boundless. Each note is delivered at a leisurely pace, like dew dripping from flower petals. This type of tempo might inspire boredom in some critics but contains a strange sense of timelessness as well.

What makes Eno call Reflections “the most sophisticated of them so far” is the iOS generative app he designed alongside the album. Also titled Reflection, the app is designed to produce “an endless and endlessly changing version of the piece of music.” While this revolutionary app comes at a hefty price of $39.99, all of Eno’s elements are present in the album version, and it won’t leave anyone disappointed.

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