TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the May/June 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Stereophile: Performance 3.5/5 Stars / Sonics 4.5/5 Stars
This long-awaited album brings together 17 tracks from Eno's most recognizable film and television work spanning 5 decades.
Eno's music has been used in hundreds of films and he has composed more than 20 soundtracks for some of the best known directors in the world including David Lynch, Danny Boyle, Peter Jackson, Michelangelo Antonioni, Derek Jarman and Michael Mann. Compositions such as "Ship In A Bottle" in "The Lovely Bones", "Prophecy Theme" from "Dune", "Deep Blue Day" in "Trainspotting", "Late Evening In Jersey" in "Heat", "Beach Sequence" in Antonioni's last film "Beyond The Clouds" and "An Ending (Ascent)" from Al Reinert's ground-breaking "For All Mankind" have contributed significantly to memorably iconic scenes.
Eno has also scored extensively for television, including all 3 series of the gritty UK crime drama "Top Boy", for which he received a BAFTA, and Danny Boyle's "Mr. Wroe's Virgins", which earned him and his brother Roger a BAFTA nomination.
This release features over an hour of classic Eno compositions and includes several previously unreleased tracks.
There are some simply beautiful pieces of music here. Sonically, this music has a clear but warm feel, across a range of styles, whether that's 'Prophecy Time,' which is majestic, sounding cathedral in scope, or the exquisite delicacy of 'Ship in a Bottle.' The standout track, 'Final Sunset,' reminds me of the work he did with David Bowie on Low. With any album, there are likely to be tracks that don't click, and with a compilation spanning 40 years, all the more so. That's true here: 'Deep Blue Day' and 'You Don't Miss Your Water' sound like country and western music with synths. Musical mashups can be fun, but they aren't always. Listening to these tracks made my teeth ache. Despite the varying shades of tone and the years that separate the tracks, this is an album that hangs together. It's more than background music, whether to a movie or to one's own life. Film Music is something to lose yourself in.
Overall, the collection sums up Eno's gift for creating evocative music which enhances cinematic scenes, yet works as enjoyable and compelling material on its own.
It helps to know what films each piece is connected to - all the better to understand the mood he was trying to set for Heat or the NASA documentary For All Mankind. But even without that knowledge, this collection is sequenced well, moving smoothly from moments of intensity to placid soundscapes with all manner of moods and shades in between.
Fittingly, for music with lots of space, this UMC vinyl pressing is exceptionally quiet.
- Double LP
- Previously unreleased tracks
- Gatefold jacket
- Made in Germany
- Top Boy (Theme) from Top Boy - Series 1 (2011)
- Ship In A Bottle from The Lovely Bones (2009)
- Blood Red from Francis Bacon's Arena (2005)
- Under from Cool World (1992)
- Decline And Fall from O Nome da Morte (2017)
- Prophecy Theme from Dune (1984)
- Reasonable Question from We Are As Gods (2020)
- Late Evening In Jersey from Heat (1995)
- Beach Sequence from Beyond The Clouds (1995)
- You Don't Miss Your Water from Married to the Mob (1988)
- Deep Blue Day from Trainspotting' (1996)
- The Sombre from Top Boy - Series 2 (2013)
- Dover Beach from Jubilee (1978)
- Design As Reduction from Rams (2018)
- Undersea Steps from Hammerhead (2004)
- Final Sunset from Sebastiane (1976)
- An Ending (Ascent), from For All Mankind (1989)