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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 October 2002
THIS album has some strange, spiritual connection with nostalgia that I can't quite put my finger on. If you grew up in the late 70's/early 80's and remember how eery synthesisers occupied just about everything on television, then you would understand. Just check out the pounding moogs on Roygbiv, remniscent of the 'video nasty' era horror films, for proof. If you grew up in the times of wild life nature documentaries, video nasties, and open university (also a technological break through era which introduced videos, video games and synthesisers on anything that moved) then listening to songs like Olson, Pete Standing Alone, Smokes Quantity, Open the Light and Kaini Industries will really take you back- its nostalgia in the most purest, organic and authentic possible way. It evokes strange little childhood memories like Speak n' Spells, Atari Games Systems, the green cross code (!) adverts about the dangers of telegraph poles and handy technological gadgets that are in fact the size of breezeblocks. So much so that it saves you seeing embarassing photos of yourself wearing grey A Team T shirts and mullets and parker coats. Olson, in partcular, is the most effective, beautiful and hypnotic 1 and a half min track I've ever heard. A very hypnotic album, best played as you stare out the window on a neutrally sunny day; the sun is beginning to set- and you try to piece together moments of your life in the past when innocence and niavity were cherished, when you didn't feel the weight of the world crush your spirit. Thats whats so effective about this album- it's pure escapism, and once you've sensed these feelings (if you do at all) then you'll keep coming back for more.
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on 24 March 2006
BOC will never better this album in my opinion. It is a perfect album, in form and function. The bands recent work hasn't equalled this album for me, as a whole this album is close to perfection. In terms of describing the sound, think moody and emotional electronica. I love the hip-hop influenced beats on this album, the first time I listened to An Eagle In Your Mind and Telephasic Workshop I was mesmerised, I kept replaying the 2 tracks endlessly. Their recent albums have never quite recaptured the same beat and percussive influence of this album...but bear in mind their entire body of work to date, which is huge, is all of an incredibly high standard when compared to all but a handful of producers in the whole electronic genre. If you buy one BOC album, buy this one.
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on 10 January 2005
Labelled as being as important an album for the Intelligent Digital Music scene as label mate Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85 - 92 landmark, Music Has The Right To Children still sounds as fresh today as it did on its original release back in 1995. Loved by the critics, this album was was one of those 'growers' that never did explode onto the scene. Instead it found favour over time, appearing more and more in peoples CD collections as word of it spread from person to person, eventually settling in its rightful place at the top of the electronica tree.
I've heard Boards Of Canada described as the sound of electronica that Radiohead's dabble in electronica with Kid A should have been. True to form, guitar loving indie kids have found favour with the likes of Telephasic Workshop, getting lost in the hypnotic rhythms that seem to pulse from a near death BBC Radiophonic Workshop synthesiser. The 'less is more' ideal is at work here, with grinding mechanical hip hop beats and bass set against simple, gentle melodies and splintered samples. The best examples of this being the moody Sixtyten with its relentless, humming bass drum or Turquoise Hexagon Sun's gentle floating keys set against crispy beats and coffee house chatter.
Even though the general mood of the album can be described as melancholic, an icy chill out experience, its not a downbeat affair. The album has soothing short interludes scattered throughout it, the best being the triumphant Roygbiv. One of the shorter tracks off the album, the two minutes that it appears for are blissful and leaves you with a smile on your face. Those searching for a standout 'single' from this could do no worse than to head for the lazy funk of the Hair sampling Aquarius, which will have you chanting 'Orange!' to all your friends.
All in all, its a gorgeous album, read up about it and you'll find that everyone tends to agree on this. Music from the future that somehow manages to stir childhood memories from the past with familiar noises and moods. Its a more comfy affair to curl up inside than more recent efforts from the likes of other Warp artists Aphex Twin, Autechre and Plaid. Give it a blast, just try not to be hooked when the opener, An Eagle In Your Mind, starts to make the hair on your neck stand on end... it did for me and within a few weeks I made sure I owned the rest of the Boards back catalogue.
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on 19 February 2004
When I first listened to this album, it passed me by without me really taking any of it in. This disappointed me, as I thought it meant that the album was bad, but as with all music, I gave it a second chance. Each time I listen to it now, I get something different from it, and I think it depends on what I am doing at the time. This album is best listened to when you are relaxed and can give time to it.
There is a similar quality to all the songs, yet you will have no problem telling where one ends and another begins. It's almost like watching a landscape slowly change over time, with each track representing a new day. One day there is a chill wind blowing, next there is fog, next there is a sunny haze, etc. This music is all about moods, and if you just sit and let it take you where it will you will get the most out of it.
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on 5 July 2003
"THIS album has some strange, spiritual connection with nostalgia that I can't quite put my finger on". This is a comment from a previous review by jamalionerf above, and I totally agree. Something about this album connects you with your childhood. Its like a dream you enjoyed but cant remember or experiencing something new for the first time again, something thats just out of reach of your comprehension but you know its all going to be OK. Mixing deep bass sounds with ghostly samples that blend into something quite superb, this album draws you into a world of the tranquility. I own a lot of CD's, and have seen "Classic's" come and go, but no album, ever, has provided such entertainment as this. For me - this is the Album I was looking for all this time, thank you Boards Of Canada.
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on 2 March 2002
boc's "music has the right to children" is the only album i force every one i meet to listen to, it is quite simply perfection. it is ambient electronica that somehow manages to sound as calming and natural as the sound of waves on a shore or the dawn chorus.
when you buy it and listen to it (a few times: unlike the majority of modern music it credits the listener with many subtle nuances that grow on you with each listening: minimal tracks such as "wildlife analysis" and "olson" - the lead in to "pete standing alone" (my favourite track)) you will start recommending it too, become a boc evangelist now!
put it on, close your eyes and realise that the the beauty of nature can be lovingly distilled onto 17 sections of plastic
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on 20 October 2007
As the gentle strains of `Wildlife Analysis' fade and the eerie synth tones of `An Eagle In Your Mind' begin to seep into your consciousness you sense that this record is something special.

And so it proves to be: `Music Has The Right To Children' conveys an extraordinary sense of atmosphere over its entire length. Using fuzzy analogue synths, samples, occasional spoken word samples and multi-layered beats, Boards of Canada transport you away from the present and into an alternative reality. Images of a 1970s childhood are evoked with a sense of nostalgia but also an air of menace and mystery - like a half-formed memory repressed but beginning to emerge.

If that last paragraph sounds like a load of pretentious nonsense please don't be put off listening to this wonderful record. It is a stunning mood piece that demands to be listened to as a whole, but it also features two at the very least glorious synth-pop moments in `Roygbiv' and `Aquarius'. In places `Music Has The Right To Children' displays a harder edge, such as the sub hip-hop beats of `Rue the Whirl' and the babble of cut-up voices and complex programming of the thrilling `Telephasic Workshop'.

Ultimately though, it is the slower, more atmospheric pieces of music that impress the most. `Turquoise Hexagon Sun' is mellow and beautiful, sounding like life viewed through a prism or fog whilst `Olsen' is so simple yet haunting, but there is no bad track on this album.

Easily the musical equal of its successor `Geogaddi', `Music Has The Right To Children' ably demonstrates why this act is so revered in the field of electronica.
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on 2 June 2005
Having owned this disc for almost a decade now, it remains one of a group of about a dozen electronica albums I return to consistently. I used to describe it as the kind of music that synthesizers listen to (at least the ones with good taste) and predicted that it would eventually be considered as 'classical' music by the machine intelligences of the future. Now that I'm no longer on drugs, I just describe it as a great listen. Enjoy.
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on 20 April 2004
What people say about this album is true - the simple, evocative melodies will take you back to half-remembered scenes from years ago, or fill your head with images of places you've never been. You'll try to tell yourself that the dated synth noises just sound silly, but you'll soon get over that.
The intricate, tactile beats will have you convinced that someone just out of sight is bouncing a basketball while walking across dry twigs, carrying a bag of glass bottles and operating a fly shuttle loom all at once. But soon you'll just be nodding your head along.
In fact, it sounds like the album cover looks - it's all very eerie. Nice, warming melodies are entwined with samples of children's voices that you can't quite make out - then suddenly a chord change catches you off guard and it all goes a bit sinister.
And unlike so many other "experimental electronic" artists, Boards of Canada never resort to being boring or abrasive just to be different - every second of 'Music Has The Right To Children' has been lovingly crafted.
It's certainly unique and original, but if descriptions like that make you want to run a mile, then I'll just say it's some of the most powerful music I've heard.
And as if 'Music Has The Right To Children' wasn't brilliant enough already, this new version has 'Happy Cycling' added at the end - possibly the best track ever to walk down the street to!
You don't have to buy this album if you don't want to - but when I rule the world you will have to, so you might as well do it now.
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on 29 January 2004
It would be easy to give this album a casual listen and dismiss it as a strange, disjointed experience. However the more I listen to it, the more I hear. Each song, like snowflakes, has tiny detail, being often moving, always fascinating. This album will take you, deliberately, to places in your mind and unlock hidden memories - just listen to ROYGBIV, an outstanding track, that will remind you of something, stirring both darkness and delight but in the most simple manner.
What is so important here though, is that BoC are prepared to go places rarely navigated but without ever sinking in unchartered waters. Music should be fresh, new, but with a sense of past experiences. Everything comes from something, and, after all, music has the right to children.
This album is electronic musical genius, and, hey, I usually listen to NIN.
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