Reflection is quintessentially Eno. A beautiful, thought provoking and introspective body of work that is composed in a way that is still as unique and as radical as the man himself.
Yes, the music alone can be easily appreciated for its virtuosity; however, the whole package assists people with their day-to-day lives and provokes mindfulness and interaction with the wider world.
In composing a piece so well-defined yet so adaptable, Eno adds yet another page to ambient music canon.
It is simply profoundly and stirringly beautiful, a piece with a deep, almost spiritual resonance while never once sounding New Age.
Imagining the patience required to perfect an LP that can essentially serve as an unbroken loop – yet offer intrigue along each step of the way – one gains more of an appreaciation of the effort that went into the delving of the human pathos that is Reflection.
Eno's new ambient piece readily slots along works like the dreamlike Thursday Afternoon and 2012’s stately Lux. It feels the most pensive of his ambient works, flowing across 54 unbroken minutes.
Whether used as sonic wallpaper or the soundtrack for a lengthy meditation, Reflection is the kind of album useful for getting ideas percolating and nourishing interior worlds.
For those familiar with Eno, this prolonged passage will recall Music for Airports and most recently Lux, but drawn out to the faintest traces. These vacuous, minimal fields linger even longer as the piece nears its end and it's then that you recognize Eno's concealed purpose of manipulation.
Reflection is the type of ambient music that is both accessible and deeply difficult to understand.
Reflection continues with the type of albums he initiated with 1975's untouchable Discreet Music. The piece slowly unfolds over the course of an hour, with notes calmly being suspended in mid-air, only to drift away and pop up later at their leisure.
This is music that’s never the same but sounds like it is, obsessed with the fact that it isn’t.
This techno-utopian lift music, while captivating, is not exactly worthy of eternity.
It’s maybe not something to play every day, but an ideal companion piece for when you’re feeling more contemplative than usual.
It’s always a delight to hear a master ply his trade with such deftness as Eno does here, and that skill is what Reflection should be remembered for, rather than the clumsy execution of its creator’s grandiose concept.
The record can’t truly offer anything that he hasn’t given before more compellingly or creatively.
While the threat that Ambient 1: Music for Airports posed nearly 40 years ago is carefully rehashed with each installment of Eno’s Ambient series, its effectivity has been nullified by decades of innovations toward (and bastardizations of) ambient music as a concept/genre.