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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover

UMMAGUMMA

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.47 | 1147 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars "Ummagumma" is the album where Pink Floyd seems to finally turn the page (musically, not conceptually) on the Syd Barrett era. The first album, is a collection of live tracks, each one over eight minutes long. emphasizing spacy, mostly instrumental jams. The second album is broken up into four parts, each by a single member of the band.

The live album is roughly recorded, but shows what a great band Pink Floyd was at the time, and shows how much more lively Nick Mason and Richard Wright were before Floyd became Roger Waters' backup band. In fact, the wntie band shows an energy that rarely came up in the highly polished music that the band became known for.

The second album, to me, is just brilliant. Wright's piece, the four-part Sysyphus, played on keyboards and drums, begins with a mellotron, then moves to an almost classical sounding piano piece, then goes completely avant-garde before finishing back on the mellotron. It may be the best playing I've ever heard from this usually non-assertive keyboardist.

Waters' Grantchester Meadows is the song that is most like the classic era Floyd. Played over a loop of simulated bird noises, Waters sings lightly over acoustic guitars. The pleasantness of this song offsets the darkness of Wright's contribution, and the weirdness that follows. That weirdness is Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict, a collage of rhythmic simulated animal noises that end with a speech in Scottish dialect. You will not hear anything more bizarre on any Pink Floyd album.

david Gilmour's three-part Narrow Way shows off a few of the guitar styles that will grace the coming albums, but doesn't flow ell from one section to another. No matter, the heavy second part is just too cool for words.

Instead of hitting us with a plain drum solo, Nick Mason instead created Grand Vizier's Garden Party, a three-part piece mixing disjointed drum patterns with other dropped in noises and tones, and actually is fun to listen to.

I'd say 3.5 stars for the live album, 5 stars for the solo pieces. Total 4.5 stars.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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