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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover

ATOM HEART MOTHER

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 1542 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A bit of direction never hurt anyone

After a couple of very improvisational and mostly instrumental albums Pink Floyd finally hit a chord. This is the true beginnings of the band that would later put out masterpieces like Dark Side Of The Moon. Not to say that this album is as tight or well played as those later albums, but the ideas are all there and they're all falling into place. Stylistically this album follows very closely to the previous two albums. Spacey, long instrumental freakouts that are honed in live performance still dominate the album. But the difference here is that the Floyd seem to have found how to play these very tightly as the album comes off as something probably more planned sounding than it actually was. There's a certain amount of delight to this because anyone who enjoyed elements of their very strange Ummagumma album will find that the good points have been fine tuned and the bad points left out.

There's only five compositions on the album. Two of which are the long freakouts that we're used to from the band. The title track, Atom Heart Mother is a long divided side long suite that goes though just about every kind of motion that you can think of capturing a very nice side of space rock with a kind of lulling music that at points stabs and demands attention with sharp raises in volume and an almost victorious sound with the chorus of voices. A sometimes overlooked Floyd masterpiece, this is the first time that the band would create a side long venture. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast is much shorter and much less demanding of the listener, this one more dealing with ambiance, but it remains a pleasant voyage none the less. The sounds of someone cooking themselves breakfast in the morning at the beginning of the song can be somewhat annoying the first couple of listens through, but one gets used to it with repeated spins.

The rest of the songs on the album are just short little songs more in the traditional manner of progressive rock. If is a very slow and reflective track which is a welcome addition after the very crazy opening epic, which is a soothing track perhaps made entirely for the purpose of bringing the audience back down to earth. A lo-key guitar and vocal track make this one pleasant but nothing to write home about. Fat Old Sun is much in the same except with this one having the guitar pick up into a very nice solo from Gilmour at the end.

Indeed the most notable song from the shorter ones falls right in the center. Summer '68 opens with an almost 'Peanuts'-esque piano track and soon leads into more of the lo-key insturmentation and vocals before exploding into a surprisingly up tempo ride for the whole family. Pleasant harmonizing of vocals and a very catchy and simple acoustic guitar make for a very triumphant sound as the song makes it's way. One of Floyd's very best short songs.

This album is not really essential if you don't enjoy the beginning period of the band, but it certainly is the turning point from the more psychedelic Floyd to a more progressive Floyd later expanded on Meddle. Very ''trippy'' and pleasant with the shorter songs this one makes for an excellent addition to any progressive music library.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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