Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs CD (album) cover

THE MADCAP LAUGHS

Syd Barrett

 

Prog Related

3.58 | 220 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SteveG
2 stars No mere warning.

For those that can't, or refuse, to recognize that artist's such as Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, and even the acoustic duo of Simon and Garfunkel, are folk rock artists, with massive hit folk rock songs like Cowgirl In The Sand, Sundown and The Sound Of Silence, which owe nothing to traditional folk music such as historical instrumentation, traditional instruments, atypical chord voicings, playing motifs like alternate tunings and finger picking, along with the typical subject matter, whether topical or traditional.

Basically, all of the folk music attributes that were jettisoned when The Byrds (An American group) created the folk rock genre (an American genre) after bastardizing Dylan's folksong Mr. Tambourine Man and placing it into the rock format of the times. Or to those that further think that folk rock grew organically out of folk music without the afore noted American genre establishing events having come first, it's important that those who do recognize the folk rock that permeates The Mad Cap Laughs receive a review with the album placed back into it's correct context, along with it's creator.

Long gone are the psychedelic blitzes of Astronomy Domine, Interstellar Overdrive, and outre avant-garde dada of Pow R, Toc H from Floyd's debut album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. What remain are Barrett's whimsical story songs and ballads that are more akin to the Gnome and The Scarecrow that featured predominantly on Floyd's break through album.

With only a few psychedelic rock songs on offer like Octopus and Terrapin, Syd plummets into musical ground that's neither hard rock or acid rock. The minor psychedelic flourishes, on songs such as Long Gone barely raise these strickly low key verse/chorus songs into pure archetypical British psychedelic rock with it's many, at the time, distinguishing characteristics, and confined the songs to a boring folk rock style that is further devoid of the lyrical impact necessary to carry such music and raise it above it's mundane song structures.

This may have been Barrett's last true hurrah as a recording artist and, as a select few opine, even a musical and lyrical genius. I, for one, see only a fraction of the man's former talent, which was on the wane due to reasons that are fully known to all of us. I have no problem finding the folk rock in TMCL. I'd just like to know where the progressive rock is, of which this artist is said to be related. 2 stars. Proceed to the other reviews with caution. You have been not been merely warned, but informed.

SteveG | 2/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this SYD BARRETT review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.