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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover

MEDDLE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 2140 ratings

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Wied
4 stars Meddle is one of Pink Floyd's best albums, without a doubt. This album signifies the start of one of the band's most creative periods, making their best work. While not as complete and coherent as DSoTM or WYWH, without Meddle, these works would not have been realized.

The album starts off with the sound of wind blowing. A bass guitar hits a gnarly, delay-afflicted note. "One of These Days" is one of Floyd's best songs. Sounding a lot like the Dr. Who theme, it starts off with two bass guitars dueling with the sound of synths and backwards cymbals. Guitar enters almost halfway through the track, before breaking into a spacey interlude. Drummer Nick Mason, through a myriad of effects, grunts out a single line, "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces!", and the instruments reenter, as a great slide guitar solo plays out through the rest of the track, before ending with the same wind sounds that began the track. 5/5

The wind segues perfectly into the next song on the album, "A Pillow of Winds". It's a very light track, with great vocals a la Gilmour. It's got an acoustic guitar to provide a framework for the song, while electric guitar provides spacey effects. Rick Wright gives us some great organ work, it may not be a Keith Emerson work, but it fits the track perfectly. 4/5

The next track, "Fearless", is along the same lines as the previous track, but with a much more rock-ish format. While the last song was devoid of drums (save some hi-hat work), this one has Mason working the kit fabulously. Again, Gilmour's vocals are beautiful, and Waters donates some great acoustic guitar work. 4/5

The next two tracks on Side One of the original release are a bit iffy. The fourth song is a jazzy number entitled "San Tropez". It is a Waters piece, with acoustic guitar, again, by him. Rick Wright plays a nice solo in the track, but, other than that, it's a pretty average piece. 3/5

This next track is one of my least favorites from the band, a bluesy piece called "Seamus", after the dog providing some "vocals" on the track. Just piano, guitar, bass, and harmonica. And this dog, just wailing. The lyrics are mediocre. I can see no reason, other than filler, to include the song. Luckily, it's only about two minutes long, but that's two good minutes that could have gone to "One of These Days". 2/5

It all comes down to this. Five songs on Side One, one on Side Two. The longest piece on the album, and Pink Floyd's second longest song (and the longest one without explicitly divided parts), "Echoes" remains my favorite Floyd track to this day. The opening piano notes inspire the feeling of being underwater in a submarine, as the sonar tracks some vessel; or deep in space receiving some alien signal. The intro is spacey, airy, and beautiful. Wright and Gilmour soon enter with the vocals, painting a picture of an albatross floating over an ocean on the breeze. The lyrics on "Echoes" are very mystical. The harmonies of the vocalists are absolutely top-notch. After a short guitar solo, the piece breaks into what seems to be an improvisation, and the feel of the track switches to a quicker one. Gilmour provides a guitar solo, and Wright some organ work, while Mason and Waters provide a constant rhythmic wall that crashes over you like a wave. The jam fades out, into a very creepy and atmospheric segment. Gilmour plays a guitar hooked up the wrong way to a wah-wah pedal, making a seagull sound. The segment continues with some great sound effects for a while, before breaking into a significantly brighter section, with the piano from the intro being reintroduced. Great drumming by Mason, tasteful bass by Waters, beautiful piano by Wright, and amazing guitar work by Gilmour are in this segment. It serves as an interlude to a reprise of the vocal segment. The song ends with a short section with guitar and piano tradeoffs, before a tape loop of what seems like a disorganized choir ends the track. A great way to end the album. 5/5

Overall, this album deserves four stars. It has two amazing works, two very good works, and two songs that could have been improved upon or scrapped. The songs are also presented on the album in an well thought out way. Had "Echoes" opened the album and the remaining five songs pushed to Side Two, it would probably not sound as good, because it implies that the remaining songs are an afterthought. Compare this album to Atom Heart Mother, Tarkus, or 2112. Instead of getting done with the centerpiece and having to suffer through the rest of the works, you enjoy some great opening acts and then get to the main event. To any Floyd fan, this is essential, otherwise, give this album a shot, as it's extremely different than any other Floyd work, but is still an opus.

Wied | 4/5 |

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