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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here CD (album) cover

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2851 ratings

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7headedchicken
5 stars Wish You Were Here, although having some things in common with Dark Side of the Moon, is a very different album, being less calming and gently uplifting, and more serious, sombre, and even unsettling and depressing in places. There's a slightly different balance between the instruments, with more emphasis on Wright's keys (some of his best synth work for the band can be found here), and there seems to be a theme concerning the elements that can be connected to the cover art and the arrangements of each song. The lyrics are personal this time around - in fact, very personal, being either directly about the lows of being involved in the music industry ("Welcome To the Machine" and "Have A Cigar"), or written as a tribute to their founding member, Syd Barrett ("Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Wish You Were Here.") Since I know nothing of either subjects, I will take their word for it, but I will say that the lyrics are very well expressed and delivered vocally. The music is some of their deepest and hardest to connect to, but also some of their most rewarding. I read a review by Rolling Stone that was written when the album was first released, and they actually gave Wish You Were Here a one star rating, saying it was the sound of a band that didn't care. I don't think that's the case, but I can see why they may have heard it that way at first, because the playing is very bleak and even lethargic, but there is a reason. These are all songs that convey intense feelings of sadness and regret over situations that seem hopeless and unchangeable, and even if the listener has experienced feelings of that nature or scope, it may not be something you'd want to connect with on a regular basis. I always found it strange that these songs are played on the radio as often as they are, as they are way more suited to a serious, sit down and listen to the whole record scenario than hit singles as an accompaniment for multi-tasking, although the songs are good enough to deserve being played on the radio, of course. The writers for Rolling Stone did change their review later to a 5 star rating, claiming they'd seen the light with the album, and I'm sure the still growing playing abilities of the Wright, Gilmour, Waters, and Mason, especially their power to find just the right notes and accents to express logically inexpressable and intangible ideas and emotions had something to do with it, as probably did the impressive variety of musical styles that can be found on the album. Wish You Were here is a great album all the way through, but there are a few standout moments, like the VCS3 work on "Welcome to the Machine", but the best part to me is probably a tie between Gilmour's first, unparralled and indescribably gripping solo (backed by some truly atmospheric synths), and Wright's coda to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", a rare, pure triumph of emotional longing and resolve (backed expertly by the band), but you may prefer the part in the song "Wish You Were Here", when both Roger and David sing the line "how I wish you were here" to Syd.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |

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