The Orb - The Dream
Will Metcalfe 17/03/2008
The accompanying press release declares proudly, though this point may well be contestable, that the Orb are the founders of 'ambient house' and, as this record proves at least half of that statement is justified. In fact, with a title like 'The Dream' the Orb could well be accused of settling for their own mythology-not that that would be a purely bad thing. 'The Dream' is a record that exudes confidence yet not in an offensive manner; the blessed beats of the title track roll out of the speakers leaving you little option but to take notice as they lull around you waiting patiently for attention.
All muffled synths and samples makes jack a dull boy yet the likes of the morosely named 'Vuja De' and 'Lost & Found' manage to expand upon the more formulaic tracks effortlessly, yet no matter how hard you try the feeling of familiarity dogs the album. Beats become somewhat dull after the first 6 or so tracks yet this is only so if you are actively listening to the record, if you're waking up or winding down 'The Dream' is a fantastic album; and, let's face it, if you're listening to the Orb for life affirming kicks you probably got rid of the habit a few years too soon.
Whilst 'The Dream' doesn't breach any new ground in terms of the Orb and their legacy neither does it impinge former glories to the point of plagiarism. Ambient House may be a loathsome genre but it is apt, if you play this record in your house (or anywhere else for that matter) it will seem ambient. 'The Dream' is an eloquent statement that says nothing, though it will make you feel much better-even if it is only for 75 minutes.