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Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs CD (album) cover


Syd Barrett


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3.57 | 222 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Music's most simple triumph?

Let's start off with an analogy by saying that Syd Barrett's "The Madcap Laughs" is to musical complexity as a blank piece of paper is to a masterpiece of art. If you didn't catch my drift, what I'm saying is that this is a wonderfully simple recording. nothing flashy is needed to pull of the psychedelic sound. And what a psychedelic sound it is! The sound on this album is almost an acid trip in itself.

Now, since I mentioned sound, another thing I have to say is that you shouldn't listen to this album expecting the style of guitar playing that is commonly associated with late- 60's/early-70's British guitar musical acts. Syd's style of playing is strictly influenced by his idols in the Blues genre from over the pond, here in America. Lots of acoustic driven passages combined with gentle strumming is one of the things I enjoy the most about this album.

Another interesting tidbit is that with the exception of 4 songs, this whole album was produced by none other than Roger Waters and David Gilmour, the man that kicked him to the curb and the man that replaced him in Syd's famous prog/psych outfit, The Pink Floyd. Now as for the music, there is a very "this is what I'm thinking right now, so I'll play it" vibe to the album. One could almost compare "The Madcap Laughs" to a musical version of Syd's diary, or day-to-day thoughts, if you prefer. A very unpolished, raw and edgy sound covers all of the coats all of the music produced, and this might be a huge change from the polished and squeaky-clean sounds of the 70's Pink Floyd albums.

Like I just said, fans of the 70's albums from Pink Floyd that want to check out solo projects should probably find the works from David Gilmour or Roger Waters before taking on Syd Barrett. I have no second thoughts at all about giving this album 4 stars, it is a wonderful album and a benchmark for all later psychedelic albums/bands. Simplicity was never so complex.

Chris H | 4/5 |


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