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BARRETT

Syd Barrett

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Syd Barrett Barrett album cover
3.26 | 107 ratings | 17 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Baby Lemonade (4:07)
2. Love Song (3:02)
3. Dominoes (4:02)
4. It Is Obvious (2:55)
5. Rats (2:57)
6. Maisie (2:46)
7. Gigolo Aunt (5:42)
8. Waving My Arms In The Air (2:09)
9. I Never Lied To You (1:46)
10. Wined And Dined (2:54)
11. Wolfpack (3:41)
12. Effervescing Elephant (1:52)

Total Time: 37:53

Bonus tracks on Harvest re-issue (1993):
13. Baby Lemonade [Take 1] (3:46)
14. Waving My Arms In The Air [Take 1] (2:13)
15. I Never Lied To You [Take 1] (1:48)
16. Love Song [Take 1] (2:42)
17. Dominoes [Take 1] (0:40)
18. Dominoes [Take 2] (2:36)
19. It Is Obvious [Take 2] (3:51)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Syd Barrett / guitar, vocals
- Jerry Shirley / percussion, drums
- John Wilson / drums
- Vic Saywell / tuba
- Willie Wilson / percussion
- Richard Wright / organ, harmonium, piano, keyboards
- David Gilmour / organ, guitars, bass

Releases information

LP Harvest SHSP4007 (1970)
CD Harvest 28907 (1994)
LP Harvest 21450 (1997)(EMI centenary edition)

Thanks to frenchie for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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BarrettBarrett
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SYD BARRETT Barrett ratings distribution


3.26
(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

SYD BARRETT Barrett reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cluster One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "A velvet curtain of grey marked the blanket where sparrows play"

A great follow up to Syd's debut album, the self-titled "Barrett" studio album feels somewhat similiar to "The Madcap Laughs". Roger Waters does not participate on this album, but Rick Wright makes a cameo appreance on keys at times. As usual the steadfast Gilmour is by Syd's side. Whether in the production booth, on acoustic guitar or even on drums at times, Dave Gilmour does whatever it takes to make this album better.

As for the music itself, don't look for anything revolutionary on this album. The music is still whimsical and slightly psychedelic, but with a more 'positive' feel, rather than the dark, dreamy feel of "Madcap".

'Baby Lemonade', 'Dominoes' and 'Gigolo Aunt' are all fun tunes with great melodies. 'Effervescing Elephant' is a short, humourous song of note that showcases Syd's playful side. My favourite tune on this album is 'It Is Obvious', a beautiful little acoustic guitar love tune that perfectly encapsulates Syd's musical, vocal and lyrical abilities. This is Syd distilled into one perfect song...

A good little album. 3/5 stars.

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Review by Australian
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Syd Barrett's second solo album doesn't give me the same satisfaction as the first, even though the composition of the songs is almost Identical to that of The 'Madcap Laughs.' Again this album is very minimalist and in most songs the only backing is a guitar. Many of the songs, however do have backing which is provided by several different people, including the members of Pink Floyd. It is interesting listening to the remaster of this album as it includes many alternative versions of the songs. He obviously had great difficulty recording this album. Barrett isn't a boring album in any respect and it has many interesting songs, the best of which are "Rats"," Dominoes", "Baby Lemonade" and "Wolfpack."

1. Baby Lemonade (4/5) 2. Love Song (3/5) 3. Dominoes (4/5) 4. It is Obvious (3/5) 5. Rats (4/5) 6. Maisie (3/5) 7. Gigolo Aunt (2/5) 8. Waving My Arms in the Air (3/5) 9. I Never Lied to You (3/5) 10. Wined and Dined (3/5) 11. Wolfpack (4/5) 12. Effervescing Elephant (3/5) Total = 39 divided by 12 (number of songs) =3.25 = 3 stars Good, but non-essential

"Barrett" is an enjoyable album and if I had to label it anything I'd call it a toned down version of 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn.' It has that distinctive Syd Barrett feel to it which is noticeable by the why he writes the lyrics and music. A song will flow and then randomly the pattern in the music will be broken. I'd recommend Barrett to Pink Floyd fans.

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Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A much lighter offering from Syd Barrett and to be honest not very good. Unfortunately the creative force that he once was, was not present and only through the ample supply of solid musicians i.e Rick Wright was there any shining glimpses of Barrett's musical talents. There is not much else to add to a review on this album. Some pleasant tracks like ' Dominoes', ' Gigolo Aunt' and the poppy ' Baby Lemonade' but overall a poor release which showed signs of a general musical deterioration.This is not to take away the importance of Barrett's influence but in reviewing this album one has to be objective.

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Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The creator of Pink Floydīs name going solo...

But actually this wasnīt his first solo effort, so many bands or artists have given the title of themselves as a band to their first record, so the name of "Barret" could sound as the name of his introduction as a solo artist, but this wasnīt the case, and after all that doesnīt matter. In 1970 after the release of The Madcap Laughs, Mr. Barrett created his second album in the same year, well actually he had made some of his compositions before left Pink Floyd, so his repertoire was easily filled.

We all know that Syd Barrett gave his own style and touch to Pink Floyd, he was actually the risponsible of the name of the band, the first leader and the man whose psychedelic and minimalist tendencies marked an era in the early PF, who the hell donīt remember Interestellar Overdrive or that Barrettesques songs like Arnold Layne or Candy and a Currant Bun...These kind of songs were continued by him when he left PF, and in his solo releases we can notice that.

"Barrett" is a pretty nice albums full of his personal touch, which shows us yet his weird lyrics, his psychedelic acid based guitar playing, and his unique voice which sometimes seems to be tired or drugged, but itīs nothing but Syd Barrett!, so we cannot change it, we have to accept it and determinate if we like it or not. I personally like this album and general Barrett music, but after all being a prog lover i think his solo music is definitely not the best...(i know i know, he is under prog related) but anyway some of the psychedelic and weird songs could be prog.

This album with 37 minutes approx, contains 12 songs, none of them passes the 5 minutes but "Gigolo Aunt" which is one of the best songs here, so you wont find any epic or so difficult song, them all are catchy songs, but with that werid Barrett touch. The songs that i enjoy the most are: "Baby Lemonade" what a classic, actually i love this song, a better opener song couldnīt have been than this, "Dominoes" and "Waving my Arms in the Air" this last one is pretty simple, but i like it.

So after all this is not a true prog album, but anyway itīs enjoyable to any prog fan, nonetheless it isnīt essential, 3 stars tthis time.

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Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "tears, the life that was ours grows sharper and stronger away and beyond"

Syd was a treasure. I absolutely love his two studio albums even though they are far from the psychedelic masterpiece of Piper. They are filled front to back with delightful whimsical vignettes of the last musical contributions of a most important poet of his time. Syd was not only the heart and soul of early Floyd but also able to channel the most marvelous little musical poems. Childlike melodies combined with surreal lyrics can sometimes make him seem like a combination of Nick Drake and kids folkie Dan Zanes.

Here on Barrett he has the appearance of a band in Dave Gilmour, Rick Wright, and Jerry Shirley. I say appearance because it wasn't truly a group effort but rather the guys laying down a beat after Syd did his thing. The reason Syd went first is that he rarely played things the same way twice. While the band's contribution is laid back they actually do manage to embellish the songs quite well. Wright is especially effective in this regard, check out his piano work on Love Song as an example. Simple but perfect for the song.

Many Floyd fans think that Barrett's solo work is crap and I can actually understand why some people don't like these records. It is a complete slap in the face to conventions of all types, Syd refused to play the star game or even the musician game. As I said in the Madcap review I almost feel as if Syd were just channeling whatever it was that he was dealing with in his head. Syd's music takes me places that are just as interesting and relevant as a Floyd album. Haunting places, but also lovely and nostalgic places. For me that is what's important about music, not just how cool the band is or how impressive their fretboard skills.

If you're a Floyd fan who's never heard Syd's solo stuff before, realize that it will be a little shocking at first. His sound is a bit rough and a lot untamed, showing no respect for polish. This can be off-putting at first but do give it a chance over several weeks. When you get used to the edgy sound you might begin to appreciate the hidden beauty and the sense of playfulness. Barrett features more upbeat fare like Baby Lemonade and Gigolo Aunt to love songs like Wined and Dined, to the haunting (Dominoes) and the disturbing (Maisie), to the funky (Rats) and the silly ditty (Effervescing Elephant.) It is a wonderful album of songs that fascinates me every time I play it. It puts time on hold and casts a spell on those willing to participate and check their cynicism at the door.

Syd did it his way and then walked away with his middle finger raised to the establishment. Or at least that's what his music suggests to me. He would never give into the star trip even when they offered him large sums of money for "the comeback" music. He turned them all away, content to spend his days painting away rather than being exploited. He was not the tragic hermit that the press made him out to be. His family insists he was a happy person who joked with neighborhood kids and enjoyed his art-but he simply preferred the company of himself to social situations. Life doesn't have to be all about the achievement of goals despite what the media tells us. It can be just a series of moments that we enjoy and make the best of. That's how I see the two Barrett albums. Syd seized that moment and got the music out of his system and moved on.

Reminds me of this Paul Newman film where Newman plays a loner content to piddle away his days chasing his whims. Someone asks Newman's character "Doesn't it ever bother you that you haven't done more with the life God gave you?" Newman pauses a moment and with just the slightest hint of a mischievous smile, replies "Sometimes. Not often."

Perfect.

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Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Syd Barrett's physchadellia continues.

More Phychadellic than truely progressive as was his work with Pink Floyd, this album, like it's predicessor, is a good offering that's very much aimed at fans of Floyd's "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", and is even produced by Floyd's Barrett replacement, David Gilmour. There's a lot of good material here, with the main drawback being that some of the songs sound fiarly thin, as they're mostly a voice, an acoustic guitar and maybe some for of rhythem section. It's very simple music, and if in the right mood it can be very satisfying for the listener. Some Barrett classics from this album include the all too great BABY LEMONADE, with it's mystical deep sound, and the eerie (and often Gilmour covered) DOMINO, a track that sounds much like Barrett's Floyd work. Both these tracks (as previously stated) hark back to Pink Floyd while still maintaining a very unique sound, one that had been missing from Floyd's work after "Saucer Full of Secrets", and any fan of this early floyd era would find much to like about them.

This unique sound continues on a couple of the much less Floyd sounding outstanding songs on the album as well. GIGOLO AUNT and WOLF PACK, each have a peculiar charm, great form start to finish. As for the rest of the album, there's a lot of mixed material to be had, and truely is an aquired taste. Quirk runs rampant, and some will find much to like here (as I did), others perhaps not so much.

At the end this is a good album with a couple high points and no real low points. not recommended for everyone, but anyone who enjoyed (as I've said many times before) early Pink Floyd will find a lot to like here. 3 stars, a good album.

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Review by The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 and Dominoes, a day goes...

Aw poo. This is a touch of a let down. You see, while some might argue that Syd only deserved to live on as a curio and let the Floyd get on to more "serious stuff," I feel that Syd's ole idea pot was far from empty. Hell, I thought that getting away from the Floyd helped him produce his finest stuff. But, oh well, this time around, we have the Floyd helping us out. And by helping, I mean "helping."

Take for example the opener "Baby Lemonade." At first, the twelve string guitar intro sounds cool, but repeated listenings make one realize that it has nothing to do with Syd or the song, which is too bad, since "Lemonade" is probably the best song on the album. I mean, it's catchy as hell, with cool lyrics and some interesting guitar work in the background (note those last three words there...).

"Love Song" is a fun, if not terribly lofty, piano ballad of sorts. "Dominoes" though really gets to me, or could. It's Syd at his most depressing, moaning about his loneliness through minor chords and backwards guitar. Sadly though, this eventually turns into a pointless organ exercise at the end. Very un-cool lads.

"It Is Obvious" is just sort of stupid. It's almost tuneless, and Syd is buried behind cheap organ effects. The more solo-Syd track "Rats" though hits the opposite end of the scale, featuring the man at his most schizoid. What else can we make of the bizarre, seemingly adlibbed, lyrics, howled just out of tune? Not terribly listenable, but fascinating in its own way.

"Masie" is pretty bizarre. A blues workout, but in Syd's twisted take on blues. It's demonically slow, making "Terrapin" seem like Bo Diddly in comparison. I can't quite condemn it though, since Syd, shouting out lyrics at random, actually sounds like he's having fun for a change. "Gigolo Aunt" is probably the most successful attempt to "normalize" the Barrett sound. What probably began life as a sort of Brit-pop tune is turned into a mini-epic, and it actually works. It might be a little long for what it is, but still, everything's solid enough to get by.

"Waving My Arms in the Air" is a toe-tappin', but still dull, ballad of sorts, with lyrics that border between cute and stupid. This turns straight into "I Never Lied to You," which follows the same line, only worse. Luckily, we next get "Wined and Dined," a quiet...organ ballad? Either way, the melody is memorable, and the atmosphere is charming for a change, rather than scary or weird.

"Wolfpack" gets us back on track. It's largely unlistenable; it's far too chaotic for me to take anything from it. Which is too bad, since the electric guitar work sounds like some of the best on the album. Finally, "Effervescing Elephant" provides us with an all too brief glimpse at Syd's charming, childlike side. The instrumentation is perfect, and the lyrics are delivered with nursery rhyme-like ease.

Once again, Syd has hit us with a largely unpredictable album. The problem is, he's nowhere to be found most of the time. His guitar is muted, and his vocals are shoved way in the background. Why?

I dunno. Perhaps it's because the Floyd, who took a much more active hand in producing this one, were trying to normalize the sound. Unfortunately for us, "normalize" means "get rid of Syd and make it sound like contemporary Floyd" (unlike The Soft Machine on Madcap, who just tried to accentuate the natural Syd-ness, and pretty much pulled it off with flying colors). Of course, the other option is "push Syd too far forward," which is how we get "Rats" and "Wolfpack." Why?

Were the Floyders (led by the Dave "Depraved" Gilmour, of course) trying to make it sound like Syd actually liked the new Floyd sound? Or were they trying to make their record sound better-in spots, Barrett starts to resemble Meddle's snot covered little brother. Which is really a pity, because the material here is so much stronger than Meddle. Crazy as he was, Syd could still write a solid song or three. Some have argued that Barrett could actually be stronger than Madcap; dunno if I agree, but I know it's better than this.

Syd must have thought so too. Shortly after Barrett, he unplugged his solo career for good. Perhaps it's a pity, perhaps it's not; we'll never exactly know. Syd was so far gone at this point that maybe the Floyd honestly DID think they were doing the right thing in pushing themselves so far forward (I don't quite believe that though, and besides, it's no excuse for spoiling some good songs). The album is still good enough, but it's sad and quiet now. Rather than watching Syd struggle against his demons, we see him succumb. In fact, he's not even there.

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Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Hmmmm .... Well, upon first listen, this might seem to actually be a better album than Madcap. The compositions are as zany as ever, with playful lyrics and simply bizarre melodies. Also, the backup band here (including Gilmour and Wright) has made sure to augment Syd's wackiness with some actual, solid arrangements. Sounds all good, right?

Well, no actually, it doesn't. The album may theoretically sound like an improvement over Madcap, but the problem is that it "improves" on Madcap in exactly the wrong way. Barrett's mental condition had only gotten worse since Madcap, which shows itself in some of the lyrics getting even nuttier than before, yet instead of emphasizing that aspect of Syd (which was very arguably just as crucial to his shtick as the actual songs were), Gilmour and Wright tried to mask this and make him appear as a relatively normal singer-songwriter (ha). Even more irritating is that the way they went about this was to make it sound somewhat like the contemporary Floyd albums (which I quite like, mind you), but with only about a tenth of the creative energy that went into Atom Heart Mother. The best example of this is the otherwise quite decent "Gigolo Aunt," where Wright spends what seems like forever after the main song has ended puttering with one of the most boring organ jams I can possibly conceive. Yet even when the Floyders aren't outright stealing time from Syd (like with the album's rolling 12-string guitar intro, which is nice but has absolutely nothing to do with what Barrett could do at the time), the dull organy arrangements often sound totally incompatible with Syd's childish ramblings, and that's bothersome to me.

It's especially saddening to me that a good number of the songs here are right on the level of the best stuff from Madcap, and that I consequently somewhat long for Soft Machine to come back and trip over themselves trying to follow Syd's nuttiness. The opening triad of "Baby Lemonade," "Love Song" and "Dominoes" are terrific melody-wise, and "Dominoes" is even nice enough to have some chaotic sliding guitar noise softly happening in the background that adequately reminds us that we're listening to freaking Syd Barrett and not Jimmy Buffett. I'm also a big fan of "Wined and Dined," which likely would have been a hit in the hands of a less cultish artist, with a simple-but-effective main melody that can't help but stick in my head for hours on end after hearing it. And, now that I think about it, "Waving My Arms in the Air" is a nice little ditty too.

Unfortunately, the signs of serious decline are apparent over much of the rest of the album. Some of the songs are just kinda dull, but without the kind of eccentricity that showed up in the second half of Madcap. And then there's "Rats" and "Wolfpack," the two instances where Syd's madness are shown totally uncut. I know it's hypocrisy to have complained that the rest of the album made an attempt to mask his madness, and then to complain when the producer doesn't mask it, but these tracks don't show a genius turning into a madman; they just show a madman. It's an important part of his legacy, yes, but only as the sad conclusion to his decline.

So in short, this here is one massively uneven album. It helps considerably that it ends with a song that Syd wrote when he was 12, called "Effervescing Elephant," which puts his silly ditty skills on display front and center, but one clear dose of genius does not an album make. I give it *** because there are quite a few nice gems on here, but unless you're already a big fan of Madcap, it's hard for me to give it a serious recommendation.

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Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Despite the somewhat unfocussed guitar playing and 'off' vocals, Barrett's second solo album is filled with flashes of genius. Barrett remains his unique enigmatic self here and invites us for a fascinating 38 minutes visit into his erratic brainwaves and his almost childlike fantasy, engaging us all the way with his capricious song writing.

The guest musicians have been given a bit more space and Richard Wright especially charms me a lot. As I have come to understand, the crew had to play their parts on top of whatever Barrett had put to tape. Given his constantly varying tempos (unsteady some would say), his abrupt transgression and rhythmical hiccups, that really can't have been easy.

The songwriting strikes me as more consistent then Barret's first album. It's not that I have an outspoken preference between both, but Baby Lemonade, Rats, the creepy blues of Maisie, Gigolo Aunt and the touching Wined And Dined are all little masterpieces of songwriting in my ears. They probably won't appeal to you if you expect shimmering musicianship and dazzling compositions, but there's a disarming sincerity to these recordings that is equally relevant to me. It's just not something that can be measured by prog standards; it requires an entirely different frame of mind.

For me this is a most satisfying testimony to this man's genius. I know I am almost on my own with my preference for Barrett's solo albums over PF's Piper, but despite some of the stellar tracks on that album, I simply feel like we get the real deal on Barrett's solo output, the pure Barrett, untainted by the psychedelic flourishes that distracted from the essence.

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Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars While his mind was already out of this world, the old mates tried to help Syd by producing his second solo album. Gilmour and Wright try to make it sound "normal", but the playing effort of Syd is really too evanescent so instead of being a document as The Madcap Laughs was, this album sounds "plastic" and fictitious, or it's maybe the impression that we who know the story can have.

On the other hand, there are songs inside. They are still that mixture of childish songs, fairy tales and acid visions of which the eraly Pink Floyd were made. Syd is still able to use the best words to describe a situation, a story, or a vision taking care of how they sound inside the song. The sound of the words is as important as the sound of guitar.

In this album songs like Baby Lemonade, Gigolo Aunt, Dominoes (still played live by Gilmour) and the crazy Effervescing Elephant are still witnesses of Syd's genius.

From a purely musical perspective, Rick Wright makes a great work in making those song sound like Pink Floyd stuff. In particular the short "It's Obvious" was originally a two-chords song that Rick transformed into a Pink Floyd song.

At the end this is a good album on which the genius of Syd is still present, good enough in the arrangements with the only defect of being not "genuine".

4 stars in my heart and 3 in my mind

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Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the point where it became clear that the Syd Barrett solo experiment just wasn't expendable. With backing musicians far more predominant this time around - with the result that Syd's guitar playing is buried in the mix a lot of the time and, at points, entirely absent from the album (or replaced with Dave Gilmour's 12-string work, as on Baby Lemonade) - the album is essentially Gilmour, Wright and friends trying to make commercial songs out of Syd's lyrics and guitar lines.

The man himself on is on only middling form here. His guitar work, where it is audible, consists of uninspired noodling far from the inventive heights he achieved on The Madcap Laughs and with Pink Floyd. Lyrically speaking, when he's on form he's as much of a poet as he was on Madcap, but on some tracks like Rats or Gigolo Aunt it's clear he's just doing some word association to get through the track. Only on a few songs, like Waving My Arms In the Air, I Never Lied to You, and the closing Effervescing Elephant, does Syd's personality shine through the obscuring barrier erected by the session musicians and his own personal issues to produce something worthy of the album's predecessor. It's a pleasant enough listen, more than worth sitting through for those few gems and for the occasional moment in other songs, but Barrett is clearly heading downhill fast at this point. Like The Madcap Laughs, it's an uncomfortable listen, but Madcap was uncomfortable because it was an eloquent and penetrating look at isolation, whereas this time the discomfort is embarrassment on Syd's behalf.

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Latest members reviews

5 stars Syd Barrett was a genius! The first Pink Floyd bandmate have revolutionned rock music introducing instrumental improvisation ("Interstellar Overdrive"), psychedelic originality to pop songs ("See Emily Plays") and creating a style mixing blues, jazz, folk, theatrical music and rock'n roll (The wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#441857) | Posted by Usandthem | Monday, May 02, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Second and last solo album by Syd Barrett, we can see the decrease and the fall of the genius, barely able to overcome some expectations, but is worth mentioning that Barrett in any form is an album in the extension of the word, that if now somewhat calmer, almost experimental psych-pop-rock e ... (read more)

Report this review (#242028) | Posted by Diego I | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Even if Barrett is as good as The Madcap Laughs, I love it much more than the previous album. Much more dark by moments, it contains also some nice and funny moments (Effervescing Elephant, Maisie). I don't know why Barrett is so underrated here, with only a rating of 3.15 (instead of Madcap...' ... (read more)

Report this review (#164045) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have only recently bought this album, deciding to give the tortured genius's solo work after buying the fairly poor Opel album, and I am glad I did so. This album has some really good stuff to offer, and if you were to know nothing about Syd Barrett it would be hard to guess that he was falling ... (read more)

Report this review (#156424) | Posted by cynthiasmallet | Sunday, December 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I truly love this album, and in truth it's the lovely melodies that make it - and this despite not being in his right mind (sorry - this may be a bit of a contraversial statement). Contrary to what most people say, I actually like this better than "Madcap", as it is more upbeat. I know the ly ... (read more)

Report this review (#98261) | Posted by | Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The eponymous follow-up to Syd Barrett's outstanding, scratchy, stark solo debut, the Madcap Laughs,produced by the close friends David Gilmour and Rick Wright who provide a heavy helping of musical assistance. Syd was a true genius, in his music, and nobody ever wrote songs like him, and no ... (read more)

Report this review (#73651) | Posted by | Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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