the back half is heavier with synth-driven drones, and tracks by thomas fehlmann and leandro fresco take mix gliding, steady-state tones with soft whooshes and bass pedals that help them to breathe selections of generic ambient (see series mainstay triola’s limply melodic “arden”) are par for the course for pop ambient, but the set’s modest ambitions and comfort with slipping into the background make them relatively easy to overlook eighteen years in, pop ambient 2019 makes a solid argument for the continued existence of the series, ranking among the best of its installments