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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover

ATOM HEART MOTHER

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 1522 ratings

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LARKSTONGUE
2 stars An album that evokes diametrically opposed opinions and which remains the subject of contentious debate, this Pink Floyd effort still finds the members of the band trying to find their niche. A highly ambitious work in its attempt to interface a rock format with a more classical format, the recording suffers under the quirky and highly inconsistent and idiosyncratic work of Ron Geesin (whose own body of musical work can be summed up in the words 'squandered genius') and also under the careless disregard with which the band handled the whole affair, with the results unfortunately falling way short of the mark. Had the band or the label had the insight and forethought (some might say interest) to involve a serious orchestra and orchestrator in this project, there is no telling just how monumental a statement they would have made. Unfortunately, though, instead of Kobe beef, we get cow pies. Anyone with a passing understanding of music composition or with an innate sense of musicality ought to be able to here the lack of cohesiveness in this concept. It is a haphazard hodgepodge rather than a neatly composed and orchestrated work. Despite this, some of Gilmour's bluesy guitar in the 23- plus minute long title suite is excellent. Side two contains a number of shorter pieces that are less pretentious and frankly, more musical. "If" is a pretty little ballad by Waters and which portrays him as a bit vulnerable and sensative. It's just about the last of that we'll see of Waters' softer side as increasing cynicism and sarcasm creep increasingly into his on-record and off- record persona on subsequent recordings. Summer '68 is a moody song by Richard Wright that in many ways harkens back a bit to some of his other songs such as Sand Box, See Saw and Remember a Day-- all very pleasant and melodic but lightweight in terms of any real world significance and devoid of any serious innovation or musical statement. Fat Old Sun is a pretty little song by Gilmour in a key that is too high for him to effectively sing, and, with a voice that at times is somewhat thin to begin with, the song suffers as a result. If you can find a way to put the flawed vocal performance out of your mind, you may find the relatively simple but majestic guitar break at the end of the song to be very rewarding. Alan's Psychadelic Breakfast is an amalgamated experiment of psychedelic noodling with musique concrete (bacon and eggs sizzling away, and let's not forget the marmalade--- I like marmalade!) but there is really nothing cutting edge about it and the endproduct from a craft (rather than art) perspective (since they and a mess of other bands were doing this stuff before) is not particularly effective. With this last piece, the last lingering final vestiges of 1960s psychedelia are shed, creating a clearing for a different direction about to unfold with their next release, Meddle. They say love is blind, and it would seem that a number of folks have amblyopia. With anything more than a lazy eye (or ear) and anything more than simple blind adoration, it is easy to see that this is far from Pink Floyd's best work. More attention to the first half of the album might have resulted in a masterpiece. Regretfully, what we got instead was a funky dung substitute for what could have been the real deal. "If", "Summer '68" and "Fat Old Sun" all have redeeming moments but not enough to raise this recording out of the muck of a two star rating.
LARKSTONGUE | 2/5 |

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