The second in Brian Eno's ambient series, The Plateaux of Mirrors fuses the fragile piano melodies of Harold Budd and the atmospheric electronics of Eno to create a lovely, evocative work. In sharp contrast to the exaggerated pieces found on his debut, The Pavilion of Dreams, this record finds Budd delivering sharp shards of piano notes pregnant with meaning and minimal in the best sense of the word. Eno's unobtrusive electronics add a resonance and atmosphere that draw from the ambient textures found on Discreet Music, Music for Films, and Evening Star. The album's best moments evoke their subject matter efficaciously and effortlessly; "First Light" creates an audible early morning chill, "An Arc of Doves" employs flights of Frippertronics, "Not Yet Remembered" seesaws between sleep and consciousness, and so on. Although neither artist is a musician in the usual sense of the word -- Budd's piano playing is still somewhat limited here -- they excel as musical painters. The wisps of synthesizer that snake through the rattling percussion of "Wind in Lonely Fences," the wistful melody held at a remote distance in "Among Fields of Crystal," the unbounded edges of the piano notes on "Above Chiangmai" -- these wash over the listener in a suffusion of sound. The Plateaux of Mirrors remains a fascinating hybrid (as are many of Eno's collaborations), reflecting the uniqueness of both composers in a most flattering light.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Connolly