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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover

UMMAGUMMA

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.48 | 1198 ratings

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thehallway
Prog Reviewer
2 stars "Long" is the term that comes to mind. Very, very long.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good double album, but I can't help but get that feeling of tiredness after hearing Ummagumma. It feels like it's about 3 hours long, and that's because it's so cold and unforgiving. Speaking in terms of the studio side, it is the only Floyd album where the experimental ramblings outweigh the ACTUAL songs. Sure 'Saucerful...' had it's title track, and 'ATM' had 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast', but there was some actual songwriting on those albums too. On here, there is very little. Water's acoustic piece is fine, but unneccesarily long (why leave the tape recorder on while you kill a bee?), and Gilmour's 'Narrow Way: Part III', his first actual Floyd composition, is a good, solid rock song. Other than these two tunes, 'Ummagumma' proudly bears some of my lowest rated "songs" on iTunes. Apart from sounding like a sexually transmitted infection, 'Sysyphus' shamefully exposes all of Rick Wright's weaknesses. He really should have stuck to the same calibre of his previous compositions; delightfully hip rock songs with lyrics and a groove. Instead, it's a mixture of not-so-delightful piano tinkering and lengthy (boring) soundscapes. I just don't consider it progressive. And Mason's is even worse; I don't want to go there. The trouble with this disc, is that it's very individualistic for a start (the band play more comfortably as a unit) and everything is seperated out into little boxes, and smaller boxes within those. Theres no windows in these boxes of experimentation, no communication between band members, and no real emotion whatsoever (other than humour, on 'Several Species...').

The live disc is better. Extended psychedelic noodling goes down well and the playing, singing, and production are all, for want of a better word, fine. Thats all I can say really. This disc doesn't do a lot to rescue the album from the depths of experimentation, even if it does come first. Thus, 'Ummagumma' gets a single star for it's original material, and one extra one for the live tracks, as their content comes from other albums.

thehallway | 2/5 |

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