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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover

MEDDLE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 2105 ratings

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7headedchicken
5 stars There are actually more than a few others I'm tempted to consider as being my favorite Pink Floyd albums, and a couple of them come incredibly close, but Meddle is the one I can understand feeling that way towards most, when I really think about it. It may seem similar in structure to the preceding album, and the side-long epic this time around does bear many similarites to the Atom Heart Mother Suite, but Echoes is actually a lot more complex and musically substantial, as good as Atom Heart Mother already was. First, though, I'd like to talk about the other side. Side One opens with one of those slow fade-ins that Pink Floyd does so well, in this case, wind, and not just any old wind. This wind sounds like it was recorded in a desert; one that might be inhabited by supernatural entities. The song it leads into is unbelievably atmospheric and dramatically powerful, and a huge leap forward in their sound. From what I understand, they'd just started using more tracks in the studio, and you can tell. There are not only two roaring, growling guitar parts, but two echoing bass parts to fill out the sound, enhanced greatly by backwards cymbals gnihsarc into brightly lit up, flanged keyboard chords. The jam they go into after the drums enter has an interestingly more classic rock sound than we'd usually get from them, yet those dual guitar leads are really out there, and the way the chord drops back into the wind is very effective. "A Pillow of Winds" begins in a very acoustic progressive mode, with many layers of beautiful acoustic guitars and vocals, a truly poetic use of major-minor key changing that matches the lyrics perfectly, and again, the atmosphere is more evocative than would seem logically possible with the instruments used. "Fearless" is great song, with great encouraging rebellious lryics, and a catchy guitar/banjo riff that's sure to get stuck in your head. Also relish the floating chorus, with Mason's highly laid-back drums and Gilmour's guitar swells. The two completely different styles of "San Tropez" and "Seamus" add even more ecelectisism to this wonderful side of music, the former slightly foreshadowing the next album (Obscured By Clouds), and having a very memorable piano solo from Wright and a great vocal perfomance from Waters. Hear Meddle on CD, not just vinyl, if only for the way "Seamus" segues into the first ping of "Echoes", where the album really takes off. Even if I don't end up sayin' Meddle's my favorite album of theirs, I'll still say "Echoes" is my favorite of all their songs. The gradual build into the main song portion is the definition of transportative, as is the middle section, with the desert notion from the beginning of the album brought into full bloom, and the sung portion itself is just one of the coolest things they've ever come up with, having some of the most breathtaking vocal harmonies from Wright and Gilmour, and they'd been good at writing lyrics to accompany their adventurous musical voyages, but they've really done it this time. Some great lines here, all the way from "Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air" to "and so I throw the windows wide and call to you across the skies." The funk jam afterwards is even funkier than Atom Heart Mother's, the smooth transition into the sounds section could probably literally hypnotise someone, and the layers of sparkling guitars in my favorite section of any Floyd song out there is one of the most profound musical statements I've ever heard in my life. I won't spoil the ending, in case you haven't heard the rest, but I will say that the album is without a doubt an essential masterpiece of progressive rock music, and if there are any albums made to be listened to in complete darkness, 'twould be Meddle.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |

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