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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover

ATOM HEART MOTHER

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 1588 ratings

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ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The more I listen to this one, the more I like it.

This is a great, original work, an exposition upon order and chaos from Pink Floyd.

Atom Heart Mother is the epic on the vinyl. It's not quite up there with Echoes, but it's close. A brash brass section, an ethereal chorus, atmospheric keyboards, and Gilmour finally developing his mature style on guitar all lead to an enjoyable composition. But what's really interesting about it is how all of these bold statements devolve into a chaotic melange in the last 5 minutes or so of the piece. They are of course saved in the end by an obligatory summation, but it is still a bold and original piece of music.

If hearkens back to Pink Floyd's early days. Syd Barrett was a wonderful lyricist and later Floyd was never able to match his understated, almost pedestrian, lyrics which nonetheless were evocative and disturbing. On this song, though, they come closer than at any other time. Add in a gentle guitar and some restrained keys and you get a piece that would have been a highlight on Piper.

Summer of '68 starts out with a plaintive piano part and some wistful singing about a one night stand. And then things go nuts. Beach Boy-esque harmonies and scat, brass parts, and vocal break that would not sound out of place on mid-career Beatles albums. This song weaves together much of the musical zeitgeist of the time in an entertaining way.

Fat Old Sun is probably the track that I like listening to the least, which is a strong statement about how strong this album is. It's a quieter piece with some nice bass and Gilmour's slide guitar work popping up fairly often.

Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast is the other epic. While it isn't as good as Atom Heart Mother, it doesn't deserve the hate that is sometimes focused at it. As Atom Heart Mother is all about music devolving into chaos, this is about chaos (the sounds of a person waking and making breakfast) evolving into music. Floyd would revisist this idea on DSOTM in the track Money, but here the relationship is much more subtle and you need to be listening closely to appreciate it. The actual musical parts are nice, but the breakfast parts do indeed get a bit tiring.

Anyhow, I'm giving this one 4 stars. It's Floyd's most innovative album (possibly excepting Piper), and it is the monolithic landmark that marks the end of Floyd's days of lack of popular recognition.

ghost_of_morphy | 4/5 |

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