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Cobalt Blue

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B0000251K5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,934 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

MICHAEL BROOK Cobalt Blue (1992 UK 12-track CD album from the Canadian guitar including the mesmerizing track Ultramarine picture sleeve CAD2007CD)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "superdupersi" on 25 July 2000
Format: Audio CD
I discovered Michael Brook's wonderful `Ultramarine' on the soundtrack album to the film HEAT and I was entranced by it, so much so that I tracked down `Cobalt Blue'. This album brought forward a whole new dimension of music to me. One moment strangely haunting the next peculiarily jaunty and yet always incredibly beautiful. A joy for the ear, a pleasure for the mind. Imagine your most idyllic place and be transported there. I found mine at the heart of this incredible album. `Breakdown'. I don't know if Michael Brook refers to it in car, song or mental form but all fit. Several of the pieces are tinged with `Ultramarine' and ultimately I'm led there. There are elements that can be related to Ry Cooder, others to Tangerine Dream's `LA Parc'. And yet they are also so different. There are haunting touches of Cajun music and arabic vocals pulling this listener from the misty swamps around New Orleans to the evening skies above the silhouetted pyramids.... As in all music there is a story to be heard. I'm not sure what that story is just yet. The language is new and very different from any other I have known before. I think out of the many albums I possess, this one is set to become an all time favourite, one I can call on again and again and yet each time I do I think I'll find something unique.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD
...I too became introduced to Michael Brook when I found his superior 'Ultramarine' on the movie 'Heat'. I even bought the 'Heat' soundtrack because it features a whole variety of cool tracks, but anyway, why do I like Cobalt Blue?...
Well to begin with, it is utterly unique to anything I've ever heard, Brook's guitarist talent is amazing and his songs and soundscapes have that sort of sea-side nostalgia to it which, personaly I love, when you hear the tracks and close your eyes, your taken there. The albums many highlights have to be 'Ultramarine', 'Hawaii', 'Lakbossa', 'Andean' and 'Breakdown'. This CD is a great listen which is perfect to unwind and relax to.
Cobalt Blue is a unique CD which deserves attention. Simply inchanting and mesmerizingly wonderful.
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By sooz2710 on 28 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard one track from this album on ChillFM, bought the whole thing based on that one track and I'm not at all disappointed in anyway. It's fab! :o)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Wels on 10 May 2011
Format: MP3 Download
I bought this CD on the basis that I think Michael Brook's collaboration with Pieter Nooten on 'Sleeps With The Fishes' was an absolutely brilliant example of combining different music forms and making a haunting album. It was a classic of its type. Different instruments, extended sounds, no boundaries about what makes 'good' music, pared to the bone, without waffle. With Cobalt I found that it was the opposite. It made references to all sorts of music, mainly middle eastern, and seemed to meander all over the place in a rather meaningless wall of sound.If I was to pick a word which summed it up it would be 'lazy'!
Having said that I have been known to find some music bland and incomprehensible at first and then later regret any harsh comments I made at the time! Take your pick. At the moment I would say that this is very bland music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
My favourite CD 15 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Cobalt Blue is a rich and varied piece of work - very special. At work I write documentation for computer processes and at home I paint water-colours. In both environments I like to listen to music, especially non intrusive music. I am not sure how you would classify this music - It is different from most of the Ambient stuff I have heard and is not your run of the mill electronic. I also like Vangelis and J.M. Jarre but this is different.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Wizard of ERR 21 Dec. 2006
By William Brink - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a damn good album. It should be noted; I don't hand out 5 stars to every album I like (or review)- seems kind of pointless. 4 stars is high enough praise in itself.


For reference purposes: If you have Eno's "Music for Films III"; listen to the the track "Err" - this album is essentially the planet Err came from. There are even some interludes that contain little distilled pieces of Err.

The sound is one you don't hear much; A large number of tracks are built around rhythms which are driven by 2 very different forces: very low, fast-attack/slow-decay, bass and very high, crisp guitar, which is restrained just enough to complement the bass dead-on. Several are relatively fast (almost "catchy" I guess) tempo, but have a whole different character in the absence of a drum kit.

If none of this makes any sense, listen to the samples. Hell, listen to them anyway; that's what got me going. I started out looking for a copy of "Sleeping With the Fishes", and it landed me here.

So, there you go.


This is the kind of stuff which will make those insanely expensive speakers show their worth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Layers within layers upon Layers--Distinctive guitar 15 Nov. 2008
By T. Frantz - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Background: Found this in the City Library and took it home out of curiosity. Am reviewing it because I see three reviews only, here, and how do you find music like this without encouragement? ==>Creative World Music-flavored tracks with life and beauty.

Michael Brook is an adventurous guitar player who likes all the colors a guitar can produce. He flavors each song on this album with its individual recipe of guitar ingredients. Each song has layered depths of musical space, and hold surprises and delights with honest,driving rhythm sections.

Shona Bridge: African thumb piano meets finger picking and sustained echo guitar with layers of melodic excitement. Top number, and should be heard on ambient internet radio.

Breakdown: Electric guitar tour de force with syncopated beats kept up by not only drums but many layers of guitars.

Red Shift: Dreamy, spacey, Brian-Eno type textured sound tapestry, but with interesting "tune" that sings throughout. Layers of fiddle, accordian, piano, and eerie sliding scale harmonies with electric guitar with interesting bongo-tabla rhythm section.

Skip Wave: Gonzo tribal singer mixed in with world music mix of drums and edgy guitar work in the backplane. Not my favorite, but ok.

Slipstream: Another wild track where background rhythm is in the foreground and the guitar work writhes and echoes like a black mamba snake through the trees.

Andean: Synthpad and severa types of synth-harp (probably electronically treated guitar plucking) fluctuates between primary, secondary, and tertiary chords in a minor key, pulsing and strenghthening. Not much melody, but very listenable.

Ultramarine: With a beat of 140 or so, this has a frantic feel with the slapping, metallic guitar picking background texture....then a pure-toned guitar-sung melody appears soaring through the moody, spacy synth pads filling a large background space. Noteworthy. You won't hear something like this anywhere else, I don't think.

Urbana: Starts with a simple melodic line and many layers of rhythm and backing pad-like guitar support. Gets a little funky after a couple minutes, and the lead guitar, on full sustain, wails along on melodic overload. Tapers back to where we came in, and leaves us.

Lakbossa: Like all the tunes on this CD, the rhythm section (we're not talking snare drum and base here) plays prominently, with layers of background guitar textures sampling the chord space (basically oscillating between E minor and C) and one foreground "clean" guitar talking directly to you. Great stuff.

Ten: Excellent "Space music" track in a minor key with subdued rhythm section, full sonic spectrum from profound base to stingingly high soaring guitar, with other colors such as bells playing a slightly discordant minor (diminished 7th?) in the mix from time to time.

Hawaii: There is nothing offhand about any of these songs. They are fully realized, with many ideas flitting through them, but with a similarity of tone and feel. The last track, again in a haunting minor key with spacey guitar textures, has the percussion section sitting up front and center, but at a slower pace. The guitars get to harmonize, and play, touch and feel, and resound upon each other.

A true masterpiece in the space guitar world beat genre, if there is such a thing.
Lovely but ultimately rather meh ambient soundscapes centered around the "infinite guitar" 21 Mar. 2012
By Christopher Culver - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Michael Brook gained some buzz in the 1980s for inventing the "infinite guitar", a technology which allows individual guitar notes to be held with infinite sustain. In the early 1990s, he recorded a couple of albums for the 4AD label, of which COBALT BLUE was the first. The 12 tracks here are all instrumental, centered around Brook's guitar but with occasionally keyboard contributions from Brian and Roger Eno, and strings from other players. The music is minimalist, based on very basic grooves. Atmosphere is prioritized over any thematic development.

Most of the individual tracks here are lovely if taken in isolation. Unfortunately, listening to the album as a whole, the effect is too samey and one wishes for contrast. COBALT BLUE might have worked great as a film score, a genre which Brook has had some success in, but it doesn't provide very memorable home listening.
Three Stars 23 Feb. 2015
By Brian - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some beautiful, transcendental moments on this record, but they are few.
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