Ambient music isn't supposed to be exciting, but it was hard not to look forward to Brian Eno's new mood music album, Lux. Eno is one of the most influential pop producers ever, and also the inventor of the ambient genre, so this should have been much more interesting than it is. You can argue that this kind of thing is supposed to be boring, but does it have to be so cheesy, too?
Had this been released 30 years ago, it would be harder to dismiss. But when there's been a mountain of disposable relaxation soundtracks dumped on yoga classes over the years, you expect something a bit more cutting-edge from a pioneer. Eno is a smart guy, and the experimental music iPhone apps he helped develop are a lot of fun to play with, not to mention genuinely challenging to our preconceptions about composing. Lux sounds a lot like the kinds of slowly evolving patterns you can generate with those apps, but they come across as disappointingly ordinary when divorced from that participatory element.
Top track: Lux 3