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Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.37 | 1412 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Through valleys and clouds

Unlike the first soundtrack (More) they provided for filmmaker Barbet Shroeder, the music is much more "à propos" with the images but not that much with the storyline. The storyline is about a French bored housewife in vacation in Papua New-Guinea getting hooked up with a bunch of hippies, out for escape to the paradisiacal valley (hence the title La Vallée), yet unknown to white-man knowledge and unmarked on any map, because always obscured by clouds (hence the other title), and a quest for rare bird feathers. Some of the New Guinea landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful; the story line is relatively interesting and the finale a bit abrupt and certainly unexpected.

However, if the movie is more interesting than More, the music although quite fine, is rather less interesting (especially considering the previous Echoes and the up-coming Dark Side) and it is still not put to excellent use by Barbet Shroeder. The French cineaste is however closely linked to Eric Rohmer who is renowned around the world for making boring psychological movies without clear storylines and full improvisation. Rest assured, this is not the case in Shroeder's movies but they share a lot of characteristics among which a minimalist approach and unusual camera angles and rather overlong scenes. As for the music, we are a bit dismayed by the all-too average songwriting, but also the conventional song format of most tracks, thus making a great departure from Floyd's most unconventional and most-often creative writing & playing approach. Sonically-speaking I find that this OBC album sounds quite similar to Gilmour debut solo album.

As for the tracks included here, some are excellent and probably more modern-sounding than many of their later albums, but the typical song format is the rule here, rather than the exception. Just the two tracks holding Guinea indigenous chants gain so much more to be seen with the movie images. It is a safe bet that if this movie had been made by an American moviemaker and made one decade later, this would've been a major box-office success. Most likely with the fad of Original Movie Soundtrack, the same thing could be said of the album. Not one of their better works, but neither is it unworthy of a listen for the album nor the movie a screening, quite the contrary.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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