on 9 November 2012
Four and three-quarter stars for this fine compilation of chilled-out music, well worth hearing if you want something to immerse yourself into and relax. But do ignore the marketing guff about "the most relaxing song ever"; it is rather misleading and distracts attention from some other rather lovely pieces on this excellent CD.
Like many essentially low-key albums it can underwhelm on first listening. Don't let this put you off; after a few plays you'll come to like it much more and appreciate it not jumping up and down demanding your attention.
There are a range of musical styles here, from modern electronic music to some with a more classical or laid-back jazz feel, such as the piano of 'Beneath the Ivy' by Loner or the clarinet (I think) on 'Sense' by Digitonal. The different styles of music are united by a common theme of being 'calm, still, peaceful, spacious', as the introductory notes on the CD suggest. There's also an attempt to blend them together so that one track flows seamlessly into another. This can work well; the junction between the first two tracks is particularly well done, so that I had to check that it was a new track rather than just a change in musical style on the first track.
Particular highlights for me are 'Radiant' by Honeyroot; if they ever make a chilled-out spaghetti western, this might be the music to it: and the closing track, 'Laguna' by Andrea Terrano; a piece of music as relaxing as getting into a warm bed with fresh linen. I'd never heard of these artists before, along with a number of others on the album and will be seeking out more music from them.
And then there's the elephant in the room. The opening track, 'Weightless' by Marconi Union is not, as claimed, the most relaxing song ever. I take my hat off to the marketing people who used this to draw attention to this album but really, it's just guff and you'd be best off ignoring the quotes about it. It isn't even the most relaxing song Marconi Union have done (try 'Breathing Retake' on their 'Beautifully Falling Apart' album) and the final track ('Laguna', mentioned previously) is by far the most relaxing piece on this album in my opinion - yours, of course, may well vary. But that's why I've knocked a quarter-star off my rating as it takes me a moment to forget that I'm supposed to relax when I play the first track.
But overall, this is a fine album, well worth having. You might use it as background music but find yourself having to stop and listen. It won't demand that you do, but your listening may be all the more rewarding for that.
on 27 January 2014
Bought this album to research some new ambient artists, I'm already a fan of Marconi union but hadn't heard of the others. Glad I bought it, it's one of the best ambient compilations I've ever heard, a little "drummy" here and there (I don't think drums belong in ambient compilations, just personal preference) but all over excellent
on 2 May 2014
The blurb about this album is absolutely spot on! Ambience takes on a new dimension! Listen to the first track, eight minutes long and I cannot guarantee you will be asleep. However, if not asleep, then you will be close to it and if not asleep, then chilled to the max! This first track has been studied by psychologists with a view to assessing the claims that the track 'induces sleep'! Guess what, the controlled trials by many different sleep study centres found that a high percentage of people on study, succumbed to sleep while listening to the track, and if not asleep then critical markers i.e. heart rate, brain wave rhythm, body core temperature levels and many others were directly affected by this track! Do a little research on this you will be surprised! So the evidence from a scientific perspective is there but the reality is actually something else to experience. The money spent on this is an investment in your health and wellbeing! I am impressed and I don't do 'easily impressed'! Highly highly recommended. Does what it says on the tin!
on 15 June 2015
If this is what you are looking for, it's a very good example:
- Genuinely relaxes and lightly uplifts.
- Most tracks have a light, unimposing rhythm (not strictly ambient if you want to split hairs, but the "Chilled" market has become indistinct).
- Volume is fairly even throughout - helps concentrate on work/study on headphones, or for doing exercise
- Mainly soft synth pads and sometimes down-tempo drum machine. Alternative to a soft piano classical album with the occasional nylon guitar, piano, wind instrument.
No, it's not a deep and complex concept album - it's not trying to be that, but it's not insipid. Works in background (sacrilege I know) as well as to listen to directly for it's own sake.
People who liked this liked: Ulrich Schnauss. A little smoother than John Beltran and not 'proper' ambient like The Orb.