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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 2097 ratings

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3 stars The experimentation in the extended composition format seemed to never end with Pink Floyd and instead the band continued pushing the boundaries of the format by releasing Atom Heart Mother.

Featuring a side long epic with an orchestra was indeed a daring move for the young quartet. This album opening composition of epic proportions can be regarded as a continuation of the conceptual piece A Saucerful Of Secrets but this time with a full brass section and choir backing the band. To be honest, it sounds more like Pink Floyd backing an orchestra, than the other way around, since there are very few instances here that remind me of their work. Don't get me wrong, this is quite an ambitious piece of orchestra music that works well as a soundtrack piece to an atmospheric scenery. I recently saw a video were the suite was added to a scene out of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey which truly made me reconsider my previous opinion of this composition. Still Pink Floyd's masterpiece suite was yet to come and Atom Heart Mother feels somewhat undeveloped and bleak in comparison.

Side two of the album is split between the band members where, just like on Ummagumma, every member wrote and performed lead vocals on their own band contribution. This tendency to split up a team effort has never worked in a band setting and is generally a sign of a band on the verge of a split-up (ELP's Works Vol. 1 is probably the prime example of this scenario). Luckily the band pushed on and eventually were recognized for their work. But this is neither the time nor the place for this and Roger Waters' If is definitely the only track that I consider worth checking out while Richard Wright's and David Gilmour's Summer '68 and Fat Old Sun, respectively, are just dull.

Even though Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast is credited as a band contribution, this is actually one of Nick Mason's creatures that he mixed around with in the studio. This 13 minute piece does feel like a refreshing transition from the two tracks preceding it, but ultimately this collage really leads nowhere and usually leaves me feeling very dissatisfied with the whole album experience.

Atom Heart Mother was, in my opinion, a wrong turn for Pink Floyd. Although I do enjoy the side one epic, most fans should agree that the next album would show a huge improvement on the epic composition concept leaving this release only as a good, but non-essential release in Pink Floyd's discography.

**** star songs: Atom Heart Mother (23:51) If (4:24)

*** star songs: Summer '68 (5:26) Fat Old Sun (5:17) Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (12:56)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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