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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 2030 ratings

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5 stars What's great about Atom Heart Mother? Many things, actually. Firstly, it simultaneously was the start of a structural and arranging pattern that would stick with the band for quite a while and sounds close to nothing like any of their other albums. The "Atom Heart Mother" suite isn't technically the first ever side-long in rock music, but it did predate the ones made by Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson in the following years, and even though it doesn't show as much prog-chop-showoffiness as those bands would, it does have a very similar form to "Close To the Edge", and it is a little bit longer than most of those other epics. The music for the whole album is very simple, actually, but in this case, that is a strength. In the parts where the band is playing in the suite, they have largely found their sound, with very melodic, upper register bass soli parts, espressive Leslie'd organ chords, and those hypnotic, slow bending guitar harmonies I'm sure anyone who's heard Pink Floyd will recognize. The restraint they show in their playing proves that you don't have to pull out all of the stops to play intelligent, sophisticated, and emotionally compelling music. There are some rather odd-sounding parts involving the choir and orchestra, but they're at least worth some avant-appeal, and both of the additions are put to very good use at the beginning and perfectly fitting dramaitc ending. Side Two is completely different, beginning with Waters' "If", a very good song with very pleasant vocals, sounding very much like the missing link between "Brain Damage" and the music he contributed for "The Body", his earlier collaboration with Ron Geesin (who also arranged the orchestra parts for Atom Heart Mother.) Wright's "Summer '68" is a typically atyipical classic from him, having a much individualized sound from his other songs from the early period, but all of the orgininality and character. "Fat Old Sun", by Gilmour is one his most peaceful songs, with a nice chord progression, a very singable melody, and some really tatseful touches in the production. The album closes with "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", a light experimental piece with a dry sense of humour in the sound effects, and music that I can understand some calling pointless noodling, but it's so bright and pleasant to listen to, I can't put it down, and it's really the combination of the music and the found sounds that make it the work of art that it is. The lone sound of the dripping water faucet at the end is pure Floyd. (Supposedly, some copies of the vinyl had the dripping continue into the runout groove, made especially for listeners without an automatic shutoff mechanism on their turntable, to simulate the need to get up to turn off a real dripping faucet.) The album in general has a very unique blend of serious/non-seriousness, and although I wouldn't even consider calling it Pink Floyd's best album now, it has crossed my mind before. That's exactly how great it is.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |


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