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Neroli


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Audio CD, June 28, 2005
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Biography

“In the early seventies I found myself preferring film soundtracks to most other types of records. What drew me to them was their sensuality and unfinished-ness - in the absence of the film they invited you, the listener, to complete them in your mind. If you hadn't even seen the film, the music remained evocative - like the lingering perfume of somebody who's just left a room ... Read more in Amazon's Brian Eno Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: All Saints
  • ASIN: B0009Q0F64
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,697 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Neroli (Thinking Music Part lV) - Brian Eno

Editorial Reviews

As beautiful and sparse as anything produced to date, Eno sets a mood of quiet contemplation that as he himself states, is a piece to "reward attention, but not (be) so strict as to demand it."

Includes newly expanded liner notes!

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
I think this is my favorite of Eno's 'ambient' music 'albums.'
Charles Frueh
Music like Neroli is meant to be experienced at an unconscious level, and if you can accept that, you will find it very rewarding.
Michael Vanier
It charges the atmosphere when it plays, pulling the sounds of the environment into the structure of the music.
Warren Sampson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By John Morgan on December 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I am a great fan of Brian Eno's ambient and minimalist albums, and while this is not my favorite one (that distinction would probably go to either "The Pearl" or "Apollo"), I cannot think of one that is more relaxing. There is absolutely no variation in volume, style or rhythm...it is just one, hour-long track of some of the most minimalist music I've ever heard, with a sound so light and wispy that even when played at maximum volume, it is completely undistracting. As such, it is the perfect background music for any activity that requires complete relaxation or concentration. I've put this album on my stereo and set it for endless repeat while napping or reading, and it definitely adds a new dimension to the experience. I can feel my blood pressure dropping as soon as the first few notes are played. The only other track I can think of that approaches this one for such purposes is the "Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music" track on Spacemen 3's "Dreamweapon" album (another ambient classic).
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on July 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Brian Eno's ambient explorations have led in a number of directions-- much of his best work has consisted of two sympathetic themes of differing lengths looped with their volumes fluctuated to alter their interactions-- a minimal set of elements needed to create engaging music. "Neroli" takes this concept one step further-- on this recording, there is one musical phrase-- a single-note progression performed on a keyboard-- repeated over and over again, arhythmically and without consistent tempo.

What's truly remarkable is that something of this form could be so engaging when performed for nearly an hour.

The remaster sound is crisp and clean, although I had never heard the original, so I can't compare the quality of the two. The reissue does come with a brief essay about the piece, and the liner notes are nice enough.

It isn't quite as powerful as his best work, but it certainly is a good listen. I also think you sort of have to be ready to hear this-- if you don't have a background in ambient, minimalism, I'd suggest steering clear of this one until you've heard more of Eno's material.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Vanier on July 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yes, it's another Brian Eno ambient masterpiece, yadda yadda. What makes this different from all his other ambient masterpieces? I would say that the main distinction of Neroli is that it's just about as minimal as music can be and still be classifiable as music. It's just a single phrygian scale in one octave, played over and over, usually no more than one note at a time. And yet, if you have it on in the background, it creates an extremely serene and restful environment which I find very pleasant. The phrygian scale necessarily makes the piece a little dark (for instance, when compared with the more serene "Thursday Afternoon"), but that doesn't detract from its effect. It's entirely possible that this piece was the result of a computer program generating a semi-random sequence of notes -- Eno is a pioneer in the field of "generative music" which explicitly does exactly that. But even if that's the case, so what? What Neroli shows is that music doesn't have to have structure in the traditional sense to be enjoyable. In fact, you're best off not thinking of it as music at all but as a sound painting. It's a lot like listening to the sound of wind chimes as you fall asleep; they don't make any particular melody, but they're soothing nonetheless.

I have to admit to being somewhat puzzled and amused by the negative reviews of this piece. It must be frustrating to try to find musical structure while listening to Neroli. The trick is that you don't have to and you shouldn't try. You just have to let go of the desire to find structure in everything and just let the music exist as it is. Furthermore, you don't have to play it softly to enjoy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By fluffy, the human being. on March 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
clocking in at just under fifty-eight minutes, this, like his masterpiece "thursday afternoon," is a single brian eno composition that explores the dreamworld of tones softly (very, very softly) drifting in a hushed soundscape. this is beautiful and sublime stuff, a perfect late night listen, great for relaxation, meditation, or as a sonic background to reading. the rough and tumble mechanics of daily life can use an anodyne like this. don't miss.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By dream factory on December 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This hour long single composition is not background or sleep music as other reviewers may lead you to believe. This is deep hypnotic ambient expressionism. Eno's composition expands your consciousness allowing your thoughts to wander a slow open circle around the prairie of your mind. A potent vehicle to surmount time and grasp inner patterns. This is a well phrased composition that despite its long track time does not dilute itself. Vertical slow musical strokes break allowing a relaxing void which together convert into a wholeness, a continum. The structure of this composition depends as much on the silence between notes as on the notes themselves. This is true "ambience".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Grunwell on August 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I think the headline is as close as I'll get to evoking the sound of this recording in the form of prose. First of all, it's such a brilliant idea to compose music that so strikingly sets a mood but yet simultaneously need not be 'listened to' at all. It's almost completely passive music, not meant to impress you with is cleverness, virtuosity, dynamic range or melodic invention. It squeezes every sweet little bit of mystery and feeling out of a simple arpeggio defined by a mode that if often used to evoke "exotic otherness" when used in Western music (popular or classical). Close your eyes, relax, and it's as though you're entering a serene world of warm shadows that has always existed, slowly percolating in a dimension that exists right next to ours, one you can join at will. It will quiet your thoughts if you're capable of allowing it to do so. It may even overpower your will to prevent it from doing so!

"Neroli" is well-known as a scented incense, and is associated (for many folks) with 'Indian-ness.' Similarly, this recording echoes the effect of the slow, almost formless 'alap' section of an Indian raag (or "raga"). Tonally speaking, it definitely has a great deal in common with any number of raags, but without the development of motifs and ornaments typical in a raag performance. Instead, it seems intended to evoke the rich drone of ringing notes and overtones one may hear in a sitar's sympathetic strings as melodies fly about on top.

Eschewing melodies, chord changes, instrumental solos, vocals and other musical devices that might make us "listen to" the music, "Neroli" is the perfect accompaniment to a great massage. Find a quiet room, light a few candles, press play, and it will be as though a magical spell has been cast.
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