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Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 1821 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After a debut album dominated by frontman Syd Barrett, PINK FLOYD's second release A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS remains unique, mysterious and strange in not only their own discography but in musical history as well. First of all, it was created in the midst of Barrett's emotional breakdown which left the band to fend for itself and literally reinvent itself in the process. It is very much a transitional album that ushered in David Gilmour while still having Barrett on board. The result of all this turmoil makes this album feel like a grab bag of different sounds and moods and if you approach this as such instead of a full-fledged album that is coherent in nature then you might appreciate it more. It also has the only track in the band's career that features all five members of the band's history on "Set Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" where both Barrett and Gilmour cross paths for a brief moment in time to create a fleeting musical experience.

Like the debut "Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn" this one was a slow burner and didn't really hit me upon first listen but i continued to listen to it because a few tracks stuck out more than others. Like much progressive music it needs to incubate in your subconscious before unleashing its magic. Such is the case with this album as well. This album overall is still very much rooted in the very popular 60s psychedelic pop / rock scene but as with most PINK FLOYD music it has an extra oomph and panache that adds small almost imperceivable layers of sophistication to its final mix.

The tracks vary widely on this one ranging from the upbeat guitar riff oriented intro with psych organ which breaks into the mid tempo lugubriousness "Let There Be More Light" which flows perfectly into the following "Remember A Day" with its cool guitar slide action and piano followed by a groovy 60s riff in tandem with the intro about mourning and loss. "Set The Controls..." is unique in that it has some seriously rolling drum action that accompanies its downer effect. The out of place tracks of "Corporal Klegg" and "Jugband Blues" kinda go together in that they are more upbeat and semi-folky with kazoos and bring 30s Dixieland jazz bands to mind more than anything 60s but for me the true treasure of this album is the space-age bizarre title track that to this day still gives me shivers when i hear it. It really feels like a close encounter of some kind where the aliens are beaming down a musical pattern to help humans decipher certain patterns in the universe aiding us in avoiding self-destruction.

As stated, this album is really a mess if taken as an album, but as a collection of single tracks i have REALLY grown to like this. This dystopian in nature album perfectly coincides with that of the world in 1968 when astrologically and culturally the world was going through a serious upheaval in every possible way. In the world of popular music it was no different as evidenced by this strange second album by PINK FLOYD that couldn't have been created by sheer planning. Despite loving their 70s output i really find myself gravitating towards their 60s albums more often. Even though i wasn't around to experience the glorious 60s in their heyday nothing transports me there more quickly than a sonic exposure to a PINK FLOYD album in their full psychedelic regalia. An acquired taste for sure but if you do indeed get a hankering for such a sound then this album takes you on a wilder ride than even their debut which i find to be a much more consistent experience.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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