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Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets CD (album) cover

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 1713 ratings

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JohnCarlson
4 stars Animprovement in comparison to their debut. And even thought there's huge debates and opinions about which album is the first true prog album, I'll say its this one. The sound is experimental but it is in a way that it ends up being rather well achieved and the band is clearly in better control of their output. Its better achieved in both musical taste and mixing which even though it's still not perfect, it's considerably better than the debut.

It also marks the end of the Syd era, to be honest, this isn't a Syd album, many Floyd fans who love the man might disagree, but both the input and filter of Barrett are gone. Making it sound much less psychedelic and more progressive in pretty much all forms possible. Going a song at the time:

Let There be More Light - Nice simple bass intro, the instruments work well and are in the right places and overall it helps telling the small fantasy story. While Wright sings well in this one Gilmour is still a bit off, showing he still wasn't well integrated in the band. Unfortunately it loses steam right before the end and this song is poor outside of the album, because it doesn't have much structure, you can notice this easily in its rare live versions. [Good]

Remember a Day - Unappealing at the beginning with it's somewhat atonic approach it turns into a great song right before the vocals kick in, again Wright does his job well, both in writing, playing and singing. [Good]

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - Good songwriting and great hypnotic melody, sound quite eastern but still sounds as only an european band playing something influenced by egyptian scales. This is one of those songs that after a few tours ended up sounding better live. [Good]

Corporal Clegg - The guitar is harsher and the kazoos come in hand, they're the cheap way to achieve a military march brass sound. And it is also the only song where we get to hear Mason singing instead of the also few occasions where he talked. It fits the mood of the song perfectly. The lyrics are satiric and critical. [Good]

A Saucerful of Secrets - The most Avant-Garde track in the set. Still it has a clear structure and is very well achieved in this department. Unfortunately this one live like Set the Controls of the Heart of the Sun sounds better, but in this case not only it sounds better, this one was much improved in live versions. [Neutral]

See-Saw - The only song I think that suffers from the not yet great mixing, it's not a bad song, and has a decent mood. Wright once again does a great job on everything that was asked from him. The keyboards are amazing, unfortunately the vocals a bit low. [Good]

Jugband Blues - The Syd song from this album is fantastic. Not only the acoustic guitar was a good choice, the arrangements are very well placed. In a way it's a shame this was the last input from Syd because he clearly learned some tricks since his previous inputs. And yes, the kazoos are back for something completely different. [Good]

Finally to the other aspects: Music/Musicianship - Guilmour is indeed a good addition to the band and brings a breath of fresh air in the guitar department, the keyboards also seem to have been used more often also giving it a more mature touch. Overall they all, including Syd do very well. [Good]

Lyrics/Vocals - Lyrically the songs are hugely improved, specially when they left Roger doing that job. Syd also does well in Jugband Blues. As far as vocals, Gilmour is the low point and Syd is the high point. [Neutral]

Concept/Structure - Even though its not a conceptual album, it sounds really tight it can be considered a case of musical conceptuality. Even though the songs don't share a concept they sound very similar but by making them the same. The timbres are close but they're very different tunes. [Good]

Effects/Arrangement - Greatly improved in this department. Now the qwirky sounds are used when needed and are placed much more intelligently and sound pretty good. [Good]

Cover/Packaging - The cover is already what one could expect from a prog album. It's intricate and it fits the music very well, with lots of nuances. The rest is the typical deal. [Good]

JohnCarlson | 4/5 |

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