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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here CD (album) cover

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2880 ratings

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thehallway
Prog Reviewer
4 stars UPDATE: The four-star review below contains more negative points than positive ones. Let me state that really I love this album, along with those surrounding it, but it is overrated to a degree, and far too serious (in fact, the only song which you're alowed to break wind during is 'Have a Cigar'). Nice production though.....

REVIEW: Dark Side was amazing. Here there is less to explore. The content of 'WYWH' is as high- quality as any resepctable follow up, but there simply isn't enough of it to keep me AS interested as I am in 'DSOTM'. The music on this album seems to be very "careful". I get the impression when I listen to it, that the band spent more time refining, filtering and producing, than actually creating. All the material seems to be so carefully chosen; they've omitted anything which could be seen as inferior (or superior) to 'Dark Side'. And there is very little product left at the end of this process.

'Wish You Were Here' has half as many songs as it's predeccessor, and despite actually being longer, it feels much shorter after a complete listen. Yes, the five songs are very good quality, but they aren't expanded upon, they are barely progressive, and there's just generally less to explore. And the production is so perfect, that there's just no colour anymore. It's bland. It's white, like the cover. 'Dark Side's cover was black, but with a splash of rainbow. 'WYWH' could benefit aethestically and musically from such a makeover. I'm not saying it's bad, but simply processed.

'Shine on...' is of course, a wonderfully atmospheric suite of light and dark. But in relation to my earlier point, these hues are all shades of the same colour. Strip the entire 26 minutes down and what you see is (as somebody else mentioned in a review) and extended piece of blues. Obviously blues is great, and Pink Floyd are arguably the best band to carry the style from the Black-American roots of it's past, into the spacey, electronic world of the future. But given it's domination of the album, I think the time could have been used more effectively. Sure, the improvisational sections are cosmic, but save those for live gigs- lets see more songwriting in the studio. The title track is as advertised and the other two deal with the "machine" that is the music industry. Which leads to my next minor issue with this 'not-so-great masterpiece'. The album has TWO concepts: the theme of loss, deprivation, seperation, etc, and the theme of the music industry, record executives and commercialisation. Does Roger Waters prove his point with these concepts? Yes. Are these concepts explored to their full potential? No. Had each one been dedicated to an entire album, there would be much more scope for lyrics, repeated themes, different viewpoints, and a whole other bunch of musical goodies that AREN'T present here. The surrounding albums, 'DSOTM' and 'Animals' both deal with one single concept and explore it from different angles, creating many more musical opportunities (even 'The Wall' does this). But 'WYWH' half-heartedly touches upon two unrelated concepts, and reveals them through music which is continuously strong, but rarely interesting.

I give this album four stars because it's safely within the realms of post 'Dark Side' Floyd and it's on the right side of the Wall. But within this category, it is the weakest.

thehallway | 4/5 |

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