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Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother CD (album) cover

ATOM HEART MOTHER

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.87 | 1963 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is an interesting, transitional work by the band who were leaving their psychedelic phase behind and finding their newer spacy style. With the ratio of 3,81 I'd say this is a bit underrated in the PINK FLOYD catalogue, but not yet reaching a masterpiece level like the next one, Meddle. It's also perhaps their most "two-sided" album, as the first side is an instrumental, orchestral epic which was co-written with (and naturally orchestrated by) an experimental modern art music composer Ron Geesin, the same man who teamed with Roger Waters for the rather unlistenable The Body soundtrack.

But this one is a good listen, only slightly marred at one point by some unnecessary sound effects of war, screams and motorbikes. The whole thing works very well in its 23-minute length and includes gorgeous highlights. Especially I love the section that starts quietly with a lonely organ melody and little by little increases the tension until it's mindblowingly emotional melodic prog graced by wailing electric guitars. That's one of the earliest trademark Floyd sounds - familiar up to their latest albums.

The second side is made of four tracks, three of them written (and mostly performed) by Waters, Rick Wright and David Gilmour respectively. Roger's 'If' is a sentimental low-key ballad, and very likable in its humbleness. 'Summer '68' is one of the best songs Wright has written. It may have a certain sixties (proto prog) feel - suitable to the lyrics! - but that doesn't make it any weaker. Gilmour's bluesy, lazy 'Fat Old Sun' starts in a very slow tempo and has nice electric suitar soloing in the end. As a singer he's not at his strongest here though. Interesting to notice that this must be the only Floyd album featuring Waters, Gilmour AND Wright as equal singer-songwriters; and it's surprisingly Wright who gets the best points from me.

'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast', nearly 13-minute, ehm, musical narrative of sorts, is for the most part a waste of time, and probably a quickly made album filler in the first place. We hear a man waking up, making a breakfast and eating it; the directionlessly wandering piece keeps shifting from sound effects to very thin and uninteresting background-type of music and vice versa. But as a whole this album is essential to any serious Floyd fan. The overall sound is a bit worn-out but mostly in a listener-friendly, charming way.

Matti | 4/5 |

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