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

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.63 | 1174 ratings

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HammerOfPink
4 stars This album is a very interesting mix of many different elements ranging from psychedelic, experimental, avant garde, and space rock. Upon my first listen, I was a bit confused with what I had heard, for there seemed to be no common "sound" among the songs that I heard. However, as I continued to listen, I realized that this was what gave this album its appeal, and the trend which would evolve across Pink Floyd's career in the albums to come. One of my favourite things about Pink Floyd has always been the ability for them to write soft acoustic ballads, hard rock and roll songs, long and intricate progressive epics, and experimental avant garde music all from the same band.

The first song, "Let There Be More Light" is a very space rock song. It begins with a cool sounding bass line with Richard Wright's spacey keyboards coming in, building up until the main theme of the song slides in stealthily behind the hissing of Nick Mason's cymbals. The song is an interesting one, with lyrics seeming to speak about extraterrestrial beings.

Remember a Day changes the atmosphere completely, with a folky psychedelic sound. It has an undeniably Richard Wright sound. Not surprisingly he was the one who wrote this song. Wright also sings on this track and it's a nice small tune.

Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun is another Space Rock song but has less of the rock and roll elements than Let There be More Light had. This song is interesting in that it sounds very "ancient." The best part of this song is the drums, which begin simply and get more complex as the song progresses.

Corporal Clegg is not a song to be taken very seriously, but it's a nice tune. It completely turns the mood of Set the Controls 180 degrees. It's a goofy sounding psychedelic rock song featuring lyrics about war. An interesting part of this song is that it features Kazoo solos.

A Saucerful of Secrets is the gem on this album. It might be hard to take in at first but when on really listens to it without any bias, they can truly see that this song is a masterpiece. This song is the precursor to the bizarre avant garde experiments Pink Floyd would perform on their music throughout the rest of their career, especially on Ummagumma. Beginning with a build up of odd sounds with eerie keyboards and the sounds of windchimes and other ambient noises, it abruptly shifts to an experimental passage with a repeating drum loop and bizarre and random sounds arranged in a way that indicates chaos. Appropriately, the 2nd movement is titled "Syncopated Pandemonium." Following this part, it fades out to the eerie keyboards present in the first part and flows into a beautiful sounding finish filled with a beautiful keyboard melody and a choir of voices singing wordlessly. Overall this song is very important to identifying this album as a progressive rock album, and it's because of use of experimentation. This song treads bravely into territory never before explored, and makes use of new and innovative ways to surprise listeners with new sound. It is art... though bizarre, very beautiful.

See-Saw is another Richard Wright song with a folky psychedelic sound. If you enjoy Remember a Day, you'll enjoy See-Saw too. It's very peaceful and warm sounding, but ultimately not that important to this album's overall sound.

Jugband Blues is a Syd Barrett song, and many see it as his goodbye song before leaving Pink Floyd. This was the only album where all 5 members contributed. But in this song you won't find the Psychedelic rock sound that you heard on Piper... Instead it seems to be a precursor to what Barrett would eventually write for his solo records. It's a nice tune if you are a fan of Syd Barrett, albeit a bit sad sounding. The song is also oddly progressive as it moves across 3 minute beginning as a whimsical Barrett song and then including brass instruments and Syd's voice fading out into an odd jumble of bizarre keyboards and Brass instruments playing an odd tune before abruptly halting before a quiet acoustic outro.

Overall the progressiveness of this album comes from many ideas from each of the members coming together on individual songs... while this makes the album a bit unorganized, it certainly offers a great variety. You won't hear the same thing twice across this record, save for similarities of Remember a Day and See Saw. Overall this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. It may take a few listens to recognize the art in it, (especially the title track) but it's definitely worth it.

HammerOfPink | 4/5 |

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