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

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.63 | 1171 ratings

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russellk
Prog Reviewer
2 stars An enormous come-down from their essential debut album, 'A Saucerful of Secrets' shows up each and every one of PINK FLOYD's inadequacies without the compensation of good music.

While 'Piper At The Gates of Dawn' featured concise and interesting psychedelic music that captured the spirit of the times, this album simply meanders without direction. The band's numerous critics claim that this characterises their entire post-BARRETT output, and to a degree one is forced to agree with them, no matter how much one personally loves their music, given this record as an example. 'Let There Be More Light' and 'Remember a Day' meander past without troubling the listener either with melody or dynamics. 'Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun' is a marvellous title, but the music, though interesting, doesn't match up. The live version on 'Ummagumma' is far superior. 'Corporal Clegg' is the first of ROGER WATERS' interminable heavy-handed attempts to write about the war and, annoying as it is, it is easily his best effort - which doesn't say much for the stuff to come.

What a pity they didn't think to bolster this largely empty album with some of the better work they had done. 'Careful with that Axe, Eugene' would have worked well here, for example. The title track is a psychedelic freakout - think 'Mind Your Throats Please' from 'Atom Heart Mother' extended for twelve minutes. Unlike 'Interstellar Overdrive' it is totally unsupported by a riff or melody to give it any legitimacy. The average 'See-Saw' and 'Jugband Blues' are dispensable tracks in the PINK FLOYD canon but actually lift the album.

I find myself strangely receptive to Jim Miller's argument that "unfortunately a music of effects is a weak base for a rock group to rest its reputation on - but this is what THE PINK FLOYD have done" (Rolling Stone, 1968). There is certainly nothing on this album to contradict him, and the next two albums simply serve to reinforce his argument. I prefer enjoying an excellent song to trying to get excited about freaky noises. This album lacks the direction, the energy, the charm and the relevance of their debut, and is an album for collectors and fans only.

All this sounds like I don't like PINK FLOYD. Nothing could be further from the truth. They would go on to produce at least four or five true five-star albums, introducing compositional credibility to their array of sound effects and drawn-out, atmospheric noodling. This album simply goes to show (by its absence) that at the heart of music is the ability to write songs.

russellk | 2/5 |

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