Review Summary: Music Has the Right to Children stands as an electronic music milestone, flawlessly juxtaposing simplicity with ambition.
Music can serve as medicine for the mind and therapy for the inner being. Every once in a while, an album comes around the corner and takes it one step further; the album touches your life in a new and exciting way. Music Has the Right to Children is one of those albums. Its value is timeless, and its spirit will live on as one of the milestones of electronic music. This LP by Boards of Canada implements mellifluous techniques, many influenced by electronic precursors such as Autechre, and does so with unparalleled panache. As a result, Music Has the Right to Children is a colorful masterpiece with a thematic consistency that invigorates every single track.
What makes this LP so distinctive is its appeal to the most primal concepts of human nature, such as love and, of course, childhood. The roots of the album are embedded within the innocence of youth. Furthermore, the album's substance is built around proficient sampling and beats. While, in essence, the structure of the album is fairly simple, its mastery is overarching. The overall flow is seamless with a perfect balance of longer, heavier tracks and more compact songs that bridge the gaps between them. As a result, Boards of Canada exhibit a flawless blend of ambition and simplicity.
"Wildlife Analysis" whispers like a cool breeze as it peers into the window of the album. "An Eagle In Your Mind" recalls the earliest forms of electronica with raspy drum machines and a droning presence throughout its duration. An underlying tension within the song is gracefully rectified with an imposing bass that makes a remarkable statement on its own terms. Scattered beneath the surface are small scraps of vocals that personify the song's instinctive feelings.
"Telephasic Workshop" settles into a spellbinding beat encased by incoherent voices. The song proves itself to be a true enigma of the album, and it is, therefore, all the more attractive. The album reaches a state of clarity with the captivating "Turquoise Hexagon Sun", a very bright song with a glistening synthesizer that shines alongside a wave of percussion. The track displays many of the duo's compositional abilities and experimental proclivities. The faint field recording heard beneath the electronic beat lends the song another layer of human attributes. While the words are hidden under the defined expressions of the synthesizers and percussion, they reach out to the listener in an uncanny manner. "Bocuma" divides the two halves of the LP and politely preludes "Roygbiv". "Bocuma" successfully maintains the glossy movement of the album with a fine sonic backdrop.
Next, "Roygbiv" presents an approachable, layered sound with various musical layers consolidated in a marvelous way. The song's deep, abstract undertones supplement the friendly melodic format. Splicing the collective voice of children with gentle adult voices, "Aquarius" focuses on the development and maturation of youngsters. It expresses thoughtfulness and happiness while simultaneously detailing the aspects of youth that are important to hold on to: purity, open-mindedness, and freedom. "Olson" steps into the otherworldly facet of ambient music, summoning a spurt of emotion with a clean and regal flow. Despite its short length, the song carries an enduring sentiment that represents a passing of time. Evoking the warmth of humanity, the track showcases the sheer power of sound manipulation.
"Pete Standing Alone" uses a coarse beat and distorted sound effects to experiment with the group’s numerous ideas. As a result, the song has a lot to offer in its sixth-minute length. "Smokes Quantity" buzzes in a manner that disorients the listener and further intensifies the song's other elements. The drums protrude through the continuous humming, and ethereal electronic textures coat the apex of these sounds. A slight contrast from the overall tone of the LP, the track is probably the darkest on the album.
The album begins to wind down after the suspense of "Smokes Quantity" and sails into the distance with "Open the Light", a quiet, drowsy, but peaceful ambient tune. Boards of Canada's intent on this LP is not always immediately apparent, yet returning to the album multiple times yields unexpected discoveries far and wide.
Boards of Canada approach Music Has the Right to Children with delicacy, ensuring that their vision is achieved. The staple of this album is its concentration on things that make life worth living, like unity and compassion. Listening closely, one can stumble upon minor details that form the emotional character embodied within the album. Therefore, Music Has the Right to Children stands tall as one of the most beautiful electronic albums of all time.
Turquoise Hexagon Sun
An Eagle In Your Mind
Open the Light