Harold Budd

The Room

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With The Room, Harold Budd makes his major-label debut. Expanding on a track from The White Arcades, he crafts 13 pieces with a simple, childlike innocence that also contain rich textures beneath, inducing a calm, meditative state -- perfect for relaxation therapy or cloud watching. As he has been a longtime master of ambient atmospherics, Budd is able to create a benign, peaceful aural gallery as each piece slowly, quietly unfolds into a different "room," heard in the shimmering bells of "The Room Alight," the chanted voices of "The Candied Room," and the somber "Room of Forgotten Children" (note the wonderfully evocative titles). Though some of the synthesizer textures verge on a little too much new age sweetness, his piano is always a thing of tranquil beauty, veiled in layers of eerie echo, evoking a half-remembered dream. After many interesting collaborative records, this is an impressive return to form to Budd's early to mid-'80s heyday.

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