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Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds CD (album) cover

OBSCURED BY CLOUDS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.36 | 1024 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pink Floyd: Obscured by Clouds [1972]

Rating: 6/10

Obscured by Clouds is a bit of a black sheep within Floyd's discography, especially considering the releases (Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon) that surround it. This is a soundtrack album, which almost immediately turns me off to it; however, unlike on the band's other soundtrack album, More, every song here is a fully developed composition that works well in an album format. Stylistically, this album is eclectic. The majority of the songs, though, are rather un-Floydian. The epic symphonic space-rock that the band had previously developed is largely eschewed here in favor of light and generally happy-sounding (!) classic rock.

The three opening songs are probably the most distinctly "Floyd" tracks here. The first two are short instrumentals: the title track is a fairly simple space-rock motif, and "When You're In" is a keyboard-driven hard-rock track. "Burning Bridges" is a pleasant track with some solid spacey guitar work from Gilmour. "The Gold It's in The?" is a straight-up hard-rock track. The vocals are catchy, but I've always considered Gilmour to be majorly out of his element while playing in this style. "Wot's? Uh the Deal?" is a largely acoustic, vocal-oriented piece. This track is the shining moment on the album; it has a certain irresistible charm, making it the most memorable song here. "Mudmen" features some more solid guitar work, but for the most isn't a particularly engaging instrumental. "Childhood's End" is an excellent blues-rock song with great vocal hooks and a memorable guitar solo. "Free Four" is probably the happiest-sounding song Pink Floyd ever recorded. I adore this song, even though its atmosphere is quite unlike normal Floyd. "Stay" is a fairly uninteresting and almost soft-rock styled track. The album closes with "Absolutely Curtains." This is pretty much a throwaway track, although the world music influences are somewhat interesting.

Obscured by Clouds is quite a fun listen, but its quality doesn't progress much further than that. There are some excellent tracks here, particularly "Wot's? Uh the Deal?", "Childhood's End", and "Free Four", but the album as a whole doesn't live up to Floyd standards. Many songs aren't particularly engaging. I don't want to harp on this album too heavily though, because I do enjoy listening to it. It just doesn't provide the same experience that many Pink Floyd albums impart. Regardless, Obscured by Clouds only slightly deserves the lack of attention it receives, and fans of the band certainly would not be amiss in checking it out.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |

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