Spoken word and keyboards are a combo made in nap heaven. Whether you’re tired from a long day at the office or catching up on some z’s in between exams, everyone could use some relaxing, subtle music to nod off to. English producer-extraordinaire Brian Eno’s latest record, Drums Between the Bells, is exactly the type of music for those dozy days. The first CD of this double-disc feature floats throughout your ears as it soothes the mind, somehow also making you want a cup of Earl Grey.
Like the tea, the tracks seep slowly and calm the nerves. It’s clear to see why Eno is known as one of the innovators of ambient music. The synths and strings bend and chime in blissful unison while the variety of vocalists gently guide the tracks. Written by poet Rick Holland, the lyrics of the album almost require a second listen if you want to really hear them, as they usually blend so well with the music that the spoken words become less human and more instrumental. This sleek fusion of vocals and instruments enhance the album’s serene soundscape.
Not every track is simply background noise for a dream, though. Tracks like “Glitch” and “Sounds Alien” show off Eno’s upbeat, saucy rhythms with fast-paced drumpad hits and delayed robitcally-enhanced vocalists. While these tracks provide vibrant breaks to the otherwise tranquil record, the album is not for everyone. It would be more likely to hear this record in an airport than being blasted in the gym or bouncin’ at the club. However, if you’ve got some mellow eardrums or are down to chillax with Eno’s polished flow, then this album provides a peaceful aura for catnaps and midsummer daydreams.