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Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.16 | 861 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Given the Pinksters' reputation for creating "synchronicities" between their albums and various films, it is somewhat ironic that their first full studio album in the post-Barrett era would be a soundtrack. Because it's a soundtrack, this album is often forgotten and dismissed, but it really shouldn't be. Honestly, there are only three tracks on here I could do without: "Nile Song" and "Izba Bar" show the band attempting to do balls-out hard rock and completely failing, and the seven-minute instrumental "Quicksilver" is the boring negative of all of the far more interesting instrumentals that are found throughout the rest of the album (though since the film is about heroin, it might be in the context of a really long trip in the movie).

The rest is really good, honestly. Waters has already begun to assume control of the group; 5 of the tracks are solely his, and he has a credit on 11 of the 13. "Cymbaline" is the standout, with one of the creepiest atmospheres I have ever come across in any song. And it's cleverly self-referential; there's a line in the middle of it that goes "will the final couplet rhyme?" which is cool because the final couplet of the song is the only one that doesn't rhyme. I'm pretty sure that it's about the fear side-effects of heavy drug use, since it talks about all sorts of animals closing in on you from all sides and has an air of somber paranoia throughout. I love the song, and the fact that seemingly no radio station ever plays it just makes me very sad inside.

And the other songs are great. "Crying Song" and "Green is the Color" are terrific folk (yup) songs, and the latter has to be one of the prettiest songs Waters ever wrote for the group (Dave gives a very nice vocal to this as well). The opening "Cirrus Minor" is a perfect mood setter for the rest of the album, with its very effective vocal melody and the way it turns from a mellow, somber acoustic ballad into one of the most perfect slow chord sequences Wright would ever play for the band (this sequence, by the way, is very similar to what he'd use in the coda of live versions of A Saucerful of Secrets). Elsewhere, we have lots of instrumental tracks, and except for "Quicksilver," all have something going for them. The best of the lot is "Main Theme," a neat avant-garde track, but "Dramatic Theme," "Spanish Piece" (a funny minute of generic Spanish guitar and some vocals from the movie), "More Blues," and "Up the Khyber" all have positive things to be said for them (even if its hard for me to articulate what those are).

I will admit that this album doesn't jump out as being big and important like so much of Pink Floyd's other stuff does, and I suppose that's the reason that it gets relatively ignored. Is self-importance really the best way to measure an album's quality, though? I don't think so, and while this album is far from perfect, I enjoy it enough to happily give it a high ***. Every Pink Floyd fan should have this eventually ... even with "Nile Song."

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |

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