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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 May 2017
No problems
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on 24 February 2009
Mid winter. Buy a coach ticket from the centre of London to The Lake District - settle back into your seat and look at the view passing by, put ...And Their Refinement Of The Decline on your personal hi-fi and by the time you reach Ambleside and the end of the second disc you will have felt a bit melancholy, smiled, felt a bit lonely, had a little cry, fallen in love, decided to keep in closer touch with friends, felt loved, decided to go on that gardening course, pondered the universe and your place in it, arrived at a place of peace with yourself ready for some warm home cooking and the best sleep you've ever had. That's Stars Of The Lid.
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on 8 July 2011
This is the type of music that if you could eat it, it would and could be the most amazing feast that you could imagine. I am an NLP therapist and I have used this music to take people inside their worlds, to reflect and experience that little bit of wonderment.
Its beautiful, moving and you will get lost in the moment. I have much music, of all tastes and genres but I have not, will not and probably wont even try to find anything as delightfully simple yet overwhelming warm and complex please buy this and just be brilliant
Claire Plummer
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on 25 June 2016
This is simply put, incredibly beautiful music, wonderful stuff is found on these 2 discs!
I can't wait to hear the upcoming new material from these guys.
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on 5 July 2011
It's fascinating reading the reviews of this album, and it's great to see how much it means to people - if only because it's heartening that it means as much to others as it does to me!

For my two-pennies worth, I'd just add that I think this album is extraordinarily fulfilling. Great care is taken over the tempo and key of waves of sounds, almost reverberations, gently overlapping and continuously changing. I can't say more than that without you becoming bored! Simply, It has the power to evoke feelings of great humility, reflection, happiness and calm. God knows how. It's just intensely moving, and no other album I own can provide such a combination of emotions as this one can. To provide a visual image I see this almost as post-apocolyptic music - cleansing, fresh and invigorating. It's so hard not to get pretentious! aah well...

I dont say this lightly as I listen to a lot of music, but this is pretty much the most important album I own, and I believe it is unquestionably the finest 'ambient' album I've ever heard. Congratulations on discovering it and I hope you find it as rewarding as everyone else seems to. Just make sure you listen to it on a decent sound system!
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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2009
Priding myself as someone who purports to know a lot about music , especially more underground artists i feel somewhat chastened that I have only just cottoned on to Stars Of The Lid . Indeed this came about by following Amazons recommendations , something which has recently pointed me in the direction of the similar Arvo Part and the completely disparate books by Sam Bourne .
Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline is the seventh studio LP by Stars of the Lid and is a triple album on vinyl and a double on C.D. The album features minimal, repetitive compositions of varied length created from treated guitar, horn, piano, violin and other classical instruments.Think of a more refined version of Brian Eno,s Ambient 1: Music for Airports or Discreet Music and you wont go far wrong .They also list Eno as major influence ( how could they not I feel) as well as Talk Talk ,LaBradford the aforementioned Arvo Part and Michael Nyman
Formed in Austin, Texas( not the obvious place for this type of music to originate from ) in 1993, Stars Of The Lid is composed of two members -- Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie. For this album they have gone to the trouble of naming one of the tracks
"Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage" in tribute to the then Fulham footballer Brian McBride who obviously shares a name with one of the group.
You might think that an album of ambient music totalling knocking on 120 minutes of music would quickly become tiresome but if you are fan of the ambient genre or maybe even if you aren't this is insidious hypnotic stuff. Sometimes it even revolves parabolic ally to become exquisitely moving. The track "Don't Bother They're Here" uses the melody of Stephen Sondheim's 1973 song "Send In The Clowns" to quite mesmerizing effect and "Don't Bother They're Here" and "The Daughters of Quiet Minds " have become two of my favourite ambient pieces ever. And how can you not love a band who can produce such beautiful music and can also name a track "December Hunting for Vegetarian ****face" ?
So the lesson is follow up and investigate those Amazon recommendations. After all if it leads you to a discovery as sumptuous as Stars Of The Lid what have you got to lose?
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on 8 May 2015
I love this album and it's one of the very few I'll play beginning to end rather than in a random shuffle, usually if I want to concentrate on reading something I really need to take in, or writing. It's relaxing whilst being (for music) unobtrusive as it removes other more distracting sounds from my environment. I'm fairly sure that if stopped doing whatever I was doing and just sat down and listened, I would probably slip off into the best day's sleep I've ever had, up til the OCD part of my brain came-to and started reminding me I'd left something electrical on, anyway.

I feel a bit disrespectful suggesting this composition makes good White Noise, as it really is much better and more thoughtfully arranged than that. White Gold Noise, perhaps.
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on 21 May 2010
This album is beautiful. This is up there with "Selected ambient works 2" in my mind. Listen whilst chilled and it doesn't get any better.
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on 29 April 2007
Stars of the Lid have produced many great ambient albums but this is something else. Even better than The Tired Sounds...

What does the album sound like, well its a cross reference of people; Brian Eno is the first that comes to mind (especially the work he did with Fripp), also Harold Budd in places, Matthiew Florianz also and many others but its the Guitar that shines on this work of art.

The sounds are nothing new, very Robert Fripp ala Evening Star especially on the final piece. The orchestra works beautifully with these pieces but the whole is more important than the sum of its parts.

The most beautiful and relaxing soundscapes i have heard for years but never boring unlike other examples of this genre. Wonderful Wonderful.

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on 12 July 2011
Stars of the Lid do as one of their influences, Talk Talk, did, which is so obvious, so right, that one wonders why so few achieve it - that is, to slowly, carefully craft, improve, distil, album after album, no rush, aspiring to perfect beauty.
In a few decades time, you'll hear this duo praised as one of the greats. This is their peak (so far).
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