Q (5/93, p.105) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...has always stood out for its melancholy and, perhaps, the brevity of its tracks....there scarcely seems a wasted moment on it..."
Uncut (p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[A] vital reference point for modern studio-dwellers."
Because it was released between 1975's proto-ambient DISCREET MUSIC and 1979's similarly-titled AMBIENT 1: MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS, 1978's MUSIC FOR FILMS is often mistakenly lumped in with Brian Eno's ambient releases. However, while MUSIC FOR FILMS shares some of the facets of Eno's ambient music, particularly in the lack of vocals, the structure of the album precludes its description as an ambient release. While Eno's definition of ambient music focuses on the extended length of pieces and their meditative content, the 18 tracks on MUSIC FOR FILM are very brief--only one reaches four minutes and half are under two--and they cover an appropriately cinematic range of moods, from tranquility to fear. At times, Eno and his collaborators, including Fred Frith, Phil Collins, and John Cale, recall such soundtrack composers as Bernard Herrmann and Nino Rota, but MUSIC FOR FILMS is quintessential Eno.
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