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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover

MEDDLE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 2114 ratings

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LARKSTONGUE
4 stars It is with the album Meddle that Pink Floyd begin to define their mature sound. Not a concept album either in character or in construction, this recording showcases a number of extraordinary musical statements that are stylistically quite diverse and which highlight the versatility of the band before they got locked into Roger Waters' box or angst and cynicism. One of These Days starts with great effect with Roger Waters' ostinato and amplified base with splashes of keyboard coloring by Wright building initially around one note, then one chord, ultimately with Gilmour's acidic guitar added to the fray. The party really gets rolling though with the explosive drumming entry by Mason and the spoken vocal line "One of these Days....etc." after which all hell breaks loose. In summary, the piece is like a musical analogy to a fit of rage ending with cutting the subject of your anger up into little pieces :-) . Then, having done that, a sudden feeling of calm and relief fills the air and your body with A Pillow of Winds. What an emotional and physical release and what a contrast of moods! A Pillow of Winds starts just like the title sounds, with the effect of a whooshing wind blowing through the room. A cloud of eider down draws around me softening the sound.... WOW! It is a dreamy, calm and somewhat slow moving piece with some tasteful melancholy guitar work by Gilmour and a lovely vocal. Next comes Fearless, a somewhat folksy sounding song with beatiful harmonies--- it ends interestingly with a crowd singing the popular British anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" though only God and Pink Floyd know why. Saint Tropez is a lightweight upbeat somewhat jazzy/bluesy little ditty that highlights some pretty but not technically difficult 'lounge piano' from Richard Wright, and light bluesy play by Gilmour on guitar with Waters and Mason keeping things rhythmically grounded in a cohesive but not particularly special fashion. Seamus is a lightweight tongue-in-cheek blues number that is enjoyable but far from a major musical statement. It's filler, although as filler goes, it's pretty good. Now side two of the vinyl, the 23 minute long epic Echoes. The piece build around the highly unusual harmonic and timbral qualities of one overamplified note on Richard Wright's piano and builds slowly and progressively into a tour de force, initially around Wright's keyboarding and then gradually with the addition of Gilmour's crying guitar. Vocals with evocative lyrics are added (though later there is an unabashed lift from the Beatles' Across the Universe). The strong vocals and the underlying keywork by Wright are highlights. Then, there is a long instrumental break where every band member shines before the reprise. This is a powerhouse cut and one of the most memorable of all their pieces. The lightweight, no sting character of Saint Tropez and Seamus are the only findings on this album that prevent it from being a true masterpiece. This recording heralds the greatness that was to lie ahead (though not immediately ahead- we still have Obscured by Clouds to muddle through). Meddle rates 4 stars.
LARKSTONGUE | 4/5 |

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