Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Songs For the Broken Hearted - Windy & Carl (So Long, Ruins!)

Songs For the Broken Hearted

Windy & Carl
Kranky Records.

SCQ Rating: 47%

Windy & Carl are perhaps Brian Eno’s closest successors when it comes to the man’s definition – not exposition – of ambient music. Like his famed essay in Music for Airports, Songs For the Broken Hearted obeys the law that ambience should be listened to as often as it’s unconsciously ignored. And true to form, I’ve forgotten that it is playing most every time I’ve put it on.

The key to true ambient music, beyond a successful series of zone-outs, is that when you become aware of it again, fresh from its snail-slow deviations, you should instinctively reflect on your purchase’s quality. It’s like awaking from a night’s sleep in a new bed and judging its comfort. When I snap back into reality after one of Songs For the Broken Hearted’s suffocating drones, I’m pissed off. I question how Windy & Carl possess such notoriety in their field when label-mates (White Rainbow, Lichens) are far more interesting. I chastise myself for buying it on an impulse, believing that it might become ideal for that particular autumn day. More than anything, I wonder how much of my Ipod battery has been lost to uninspired layers of sludge. In Eno-theory, this record should be good… but Songs For the Broken Hearted props ambience as much as any amateur musician who personally invests themselves in formless, one-key marathons. You’ll ignore this far more often than you’ll listen.

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