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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.89 | 2161 ratings

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3 stars Atom Heart Mother is a typical early Floyd album where their creative genius is at war with their natural disposition: laziness. Side one is a pompous, dated but nevertheless amazing piece of music. Side two is a snooze-fest that could even bring an insomniac to a comforting nap.

In 1970 rock went classic. There had been earlier exploits to recreate classical music with rock instruments (the Nice, Procul Harum,...) but in 1970 everybody suddenly brought a Philharmonic Orchestra into the studio: Deep Purple (ok that was end '69), the Nice, Uriah Heep and of course Pink Floyd. None of these experiments have been met by general approval. Some fans like it, others not at all.

And so fares Atom Heart Mother, a 25 minute psychedelic piece that compares to nothing else in Pink Floyd's output, apart from the guitar solo in the middle that they would redo on Echoes. I value it in the same way that I appreciate Uriah Heep's Salisbury: it has aged badly, it didn't create a very coherent sound and it's definitely over the top. And yet, I find myself liking it, I don't play it too much but when I do I'm always thankful they had the ambition to pull it off. After all there aren't too many similar songs around.

Next to this epic, all band members except Mason added one track each to complete the album, similarly as they had done on Umma Gumma. Unfortunately, the result is worse. If is a nice acoustic track from Waters but Grandchester Meadow was a lot better. Fat Old Sun is a weak track from Gilmour, they would do a few good live renditions of it but the version here is poor. No, The Narrow Way was a lot better.

Wright's Summer '68 might appeal to Beatles fans but it is completely out of place here and quite frankly, very dull. Alan's Breakfast is a band effort but really, I don't see the 'effort' here. Self-indulgent sloppiness is what I call it.

So, an epic monster track that is at the same time astounding and unsatisfactory; completed with 30 minutes of songs that range between tepid and hot air. If someone would release this now it would be a merciless 1 star but given its context I'd say 3.5.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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