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Syd Barrett - Barrett CD (album) cover


Syd Barrett


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3.27 | 131 ratings

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3 stars This is the point where it became clear that the Syd Barrett solo experiment just wasn't expendable. With backing musicians far more predominant this time around - with the result that Syd's guitar playing is buried in the mix a lot of the time and, at points, entirely absent from the album (or replaced with Dave Gilmour's 12-string work, as on Baby Lemonade) - the album is essentially Gilmour, Wright and friends trying to make commercial songs out of Syd's lyrics and guitar lines.

The man himself on is on only middling form here. His guitar work, where it is audible, consists of uninspired noodling far from the inventive heights he achieved on The Madcap Laughs and with Pink Floyd. Lyrically speaking, when he's on form he's as much of a poet as he was on Madcap, but on some tracks like Rats or Gigolo Aunt it's clear he's just doing some word association to get through the track. Only on a few songs, like Waving My Arms In the Air, I Never Lied to You, and the closing Effervescing Elephant, does Syd's personality shine through the obscuring barrier erected by the session musicians and his own personal issues to produce something worthy of the album's predecessor. It's a pleasant enough listen, more than worth sitting through for those few gems and for the occasional moment in other songs, but Barrett is clearly heading downhill fast at this point. Like The Madcap Laughs, it's an uncomfortable listen, but Madcap was uncomfortable because it was an eloquent and penetrating look at isolation, whereas this time the discomfort is embarrassment on Syd's behalf.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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