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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover

MEDDLE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 2109 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pink Floyd: Meddle [1971]

Rating: 8/10

Meddle, Pink Floyd's sixth album, is the first truly magnificent release from the band and is yet another sign of the legends that they were becoming (or, perhaps, had already became). This album is the logical artistic continuation of Atom Heart Mother; like that album, Meddle is an eclectic mix of space-rock, folk, and epic symphonic soundscapes. However, this album is more mature, sophisticated, and well-rounded than its excellent predecessor. At this point, Pink Floyd had completely shed the often uninteresting noddling that marked their early career and established themselves as a staggering musical force.

'One of These Days' is a fantastic space-rock instrumental dominated by a throbbing bass-line and celestial keyboards. 'A Pillow of Winds' is also quite spacey, but in a different way; pastoral acoustic guitar dominates this song along with Gilmour's understated vocals. Dual acoustic/electric guitar comes to the forefront yet again on 'Fearless', my favorite track on the first side. Like many Floyd classics, it manages to do an enormous amount with very little. 'San Tropez' is a very relaxed track with great vocals/lyrics from Waters. This song makes me want to drink margaritas and eat pineapple while sitting under a palm tree on the beach. 'Seamus' is an odd out-of-place country/blues piece. The piano and acoustic guitar sound fantastic here. And then we have the legendary 'Echoes', one of the earliest side-long prog epics. This is an absolutely gorgeous track; it's hard to convey how majestic many parts of it are in words. Gilmour's electric guitar is particularly incredible, along with Wright's Hammond organ during the groovy segments. The ambient middle section is a wonderful journey into the depths of the ocean. The most impressive thing about 'Echoes' is its ability to create a distinct image within the listener: I feel like I'm in some sort of oceanic bliss whenever I listen to it.

Meddle is almost undoubtedly a landmark release despite the fact that it's generally not very well-known amongst mainstream Floyd fans. The two genres combined here - folk and space-rock - seem entirely disparate and incompatible. However, the final product is seamless, unique, and indeed quite progressive. This album falls just short of masterpiece level, however; it doesn't quite pack the emotional punch of the band's later masterpieces. I find it very difficult to find any concrete complaints about this album, though. Meddle is yet another essential progressive rock album from the early 70s.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |

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