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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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Prog Reviewer
4 stars There are some who think this is the best PINK FLOYD album and then there are those who think this is their worst. Well, I can't make the claim that it's their best, luckily I can't say it's bad either. On side one, the band created a side-length suite called "Atom Heart Mother Suite". Here the band incorporates orchestra and choir with rock band. There is many atmospheric and experimental passages, including a twisted passage fooling around with the Mellotron (yes, PINK FLOYD used the tron, but only on this album, "Ummagumma" and "A Saucerful of Secrets"). There are oddly passages that sound like The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT circa "I Robot" (minus the synthesizers, of course, since this was 1970, not 1977, and synthesizers were still mainly big bulky modular Moogs). Maybe that shouldn't be any surprise as Alan PARSONS made his first appearance here on a PINK FLOYD album (not "Dark Side of the Moon", as commonly believed, although they had him mispelled as Alan PARSONS on this album).

Side two consists of more or less song-based material, trying to do another "Ummagumma" here by giving each band member their chance to stroke their ego (except for Nick MASON, luckily, since we don't need another drum/percussion experiment that falls flat). First you have Roger WATERS' "If", an acoustic ballad that he often likes doing. Then there's Richard WRIGHT's "Summer '68". Here's the odd piece: here he'd desperate to recreate the sound of "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn". It has all the trappings of late '60s psychedelia, you might think Syd BARRET had returned (of course he didn't, but he did record two solo albums the same year as "Atom Heart Mother"). Even that "Bah, bah, bah" chorus is present, making me think of certain California bands circa 1967 (The TURTLES, The ASSOCIATION, or even the Chicago band SPANKY & OUR GANG). It's almost as if the "canyons of your mind" and "flowers and beads" psychedelia reared its head once again in 1970! Still, it's a great song. I had never really cared for GILMOUR's piece, "Fat Old Sun". Here he tries for a country vibe and it just falls flat. Pretty mediocre. And for the last piece, rather than Nick MASON going on a drum/percussion wankfest like on "Ummagumma", the space was left for a full band composition, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfest". I presume "Alan" was meant for "Alan PARSONS". Mainly a bunch of background chatter and environmental sounds. There's an acoustic piece, more ambient stuff, then the band finally gets to kick in with some real music.

Yeah, it's a bewildering album, but at least it's not quite off the wall as "Ummagumma", but can be a bit uneven in place. Still recommended for those who are sick of "The Wall" or want to start exploring FLOYD before DSOTM.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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