Newest Review: ... not 100% certain the music on it can really be classed as chilled out but I get what it means in that it is chilled out as far as dance t... more
Gets a chilly reception from me
The Classic Chillout Album
Member Name: cswann
The Classic Chillout Album
Date: 28/01/02, updated on 28/01/02 (861 review reads)
Advantages: Some fantastic tracks, Good value
Disadvantages: Some not so great tracks
It seems as though hundreds of Chillout CD compilations have been released over the last year or so, and at first I thought “what a great idea”, but I have to say I’m not so sure anymore. First off, as with any of these things (‘Ibiza’ compilations are another example) they’re very much a bandwagon thing, and the contents are not always that brilliant. Second, one person’s idea of ‘chillout’ music is not always the same as the next.
“The classic chillout album” is one of the mainstream chillout compilations, a collection of ‘safe’ tracks. In fact, the choice of tracks is not just safe, it borders on the dull and humdrum. No, I’m being too kind, there are tracks here that I find tedious in the extreme.
It starts of extremely well – CD1 kicks off with Groove Armada’s “At the river”, and of course Moby. Undeniably great tracks that are guaranteed to relax me, bringing to mind warm, sunny beaches and lazy days.
But, listening to the whole thing I realise that there are many tracks that I simply don’t enjoy listening to all that much. CD2 is especially disappointing. The Art of Noise’s “Moments of love” jars (this is an example of a song that I personally would not describe as chillout music). There are also many tracks which are very dated – Clannad’s “Theme from Harry’s game” (1982), Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Theme from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” (1980s), Ennio Morricone’s “Chi Mai” (yes, it’s been on a recent Friends Provident ad, but charted in 1981 as the theme from The Life and Times of Lloyd George). I mean, this is starting to sound like a trawl though your Mum and Dad’s easy listening collection!
As far as CD2 is concerned, it’s not until Moby’s “Porcelain” (track 10) that I start to feel yay... this is
the kind of music I want to have on a chillout album.
Overall, there are probably too many ‘classical’ tracks, although they are definitely ‘light classical’ and your average classical buff would no doubt derisively snort at them. I’d include tracks such as those by Michael Nyman in this category,a nd Chris Davis, whose “To a wild rose” is a blatant steal from Dvorak’s New world symphony.
At the end of CD2 is Adie Mus’ “Cantus”, a massive and wonderful choral work, which I love to hear – but it sounds out of place here, as, for me, it’s quite rousing, not really very relaxing, in the chillout sense.
Moby features twice over the 2 CDs, as does Joolz Gianni, both of whom are entirely appropriate on a chillout collection. There are many excellent tracks, and my favourites are Jakatta’s “American dream” and Morcheeba’s “World looking in”. Each CD runs at well over 1 hour, so it’s good value.
But, overall, I have to say I am disappointed by the collection, musically speaking. CD1 is far superior to CD2, but I would never chose to play either in its entirety.
Basically, it’s a chillout album that middle aged people might buy to play at dinner parties, hoping that they’ll impress their teenage kids into thinking that they’re trendy.