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Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds CD (album) cover

OBSCURED BY CLOUDS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.36 | 1021 ratings

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Dayvenkirq
4 stars Oh, yes, a definite five. High five! Not a single sucker on the album. The record is mostly about grooves and marriage of tone with melody, as well as adequate jamming and songwriting. This is an album for which I really look forward to writing a good review, even more than for "Meddle". Long live Pink Floyd.

The spirit of experimentalism is still there. The dark and sparse opener starts with different A-note drones that define the mood of the track. Then Dave Gilmour comes along and adds even more to that mood. The even gloomier closer, 'Absolutely Curtains', is a bit of a different animal, with a few surprises of its own. It features more drones, Rick Wright's keys that sound menacing on one occasion (thanks to the drummer), an awesome explosive moment (somewhat reminiscent of 'On the Run'), and tribal chanting that adds more weirdness to the track. That piece is just beautifully built.

There are also some happy and more accessible moments on the album. 'When You Are In' is a very moderate jam with an electric guitar part that is really simple to play. It also has a slow and relentless rhythm that the band threatens to be executing for minutes and minutes. There are no prog-rock excesses and no punky whining, just souls that stay at home in the music. 'The Gold It's in the ?' is even cooler than that. The influence of Led Zeppelin is really felt on this track, and the rhythm guitar parts prove this point. Plus, the song is very adventurous. It doesn't need to be really long; the lyrics will just suffice.

'Free Four' is yet another case of Roger Waters still not being able to get over the passing of his dad. "You are the angel of death and I'm a dead man's son." I think his lyrics are better on 'Corporal Clegg' than here. Nonetheless, I like this song mostly because the grim lyrics are set against a happy and groovy folk tune. Also, Dave focuses here on melody and its sound, which in turn would define his playing style in the future. All of that also goes for 'Childhood's End', which opens with an organ possessing this amazing tone. That organ is backed up with something that sounds like brass, which makes the texture even richer and darker. The rest is muted pass picking (reminiscent of 'Time'), some grooviness, and simple, i.e. adequate, songwriting again. If you want to learn how to write a good song, turn to the Floydsters.

The rest of the album is deeply introspective, the very slices that make the pie so delicious. I'm not sure which one is my biggest favorite. The combination of the economical and moody guitar style, the shimmering organ sound, the imaginative lyrics, and the harmony of Dave and Rick's voices finally pays the highest on 'Burning Bridges'. The instrumental 'Mudmen' comes very close. Also, if you want to hear a very warm and other times chilly ballad (supposedly a love song), here we have 'Wot's ? Uh the Deal'. I love the acoustic guitar ostinato, one of the first things I learned to play on the guitar. The way the music flows from one chord to another just feels so right, and it probably can't be any righter. I must also mention the enamoring vocal harmony and the lead vocal permeating the song, which are real gems. And once again the thin songwriting philosophy benefits a song; I can actually enjoy every single detail in the music. I feel like that's the way to go for me as a musician. Then, to close the deal, you have yet another easily built song that relies on tone and melody more than anything else, Rick's enthralling 'Stay', one of the first things I learned to play on the piano.

This record is not revolutionary. It doesn't need a revolution. It has the very things that make it an overlooked classic. There are some upbeat and energetic tracks on this album. However, it looks like the Floyd won the place of the kings of melody and sound, which are probably the very same things that won them the reputation of space-rockers rather than ambient-pop-folk-rock musicians. In my mind, the two are not the exact same thing.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

1. 'Obscured by Clouds' - ****

2. 'When You Are In' - ***

3. 'Burning Bridges' - *****

4. 'The Gold It's In the ?' - ****

5. 'Wot's ? Uh The Deal' - *****

6. 'Mudmen [Instrumental]' - *****

7. 'Childhood's End' - ****

8. 'Free Four' - ****

9. 'Stay' - ****

10. 'Absolutely Curtains' - ****

Stamp: "I like it."

Dayvenkirq | 4/5 |

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