Saturday, January 21, 2017

Pink Floyd- More

Pink Floyd- More: Released in 1969 for Columbia Records
Best Song: Cirrus Minor for atmosphere, The Nile Song for rocking out, and Green Is The Color for beauty

A Saucerful of Secrets was a big sucess, charting number 9 (Made no impact in the US, though) and after a tour they were asked by film director Barbaret Schroder to compose the soundtrack for his film, More. So they went into Pye Studios in February of 1969 to record the soundtrack, released in June of 1969.

The album is entirely sung by David Gilmour, and he shows the full range of his vocals on the album, going from soft falsetto to gritty belting with ease. Roger Water's star is shining, as he writes all the songs except Nick Mason's "Up The Khyber" and Gilmour's "A Spanish Piece" (Though all the other instrumentals are group composed) However, quality wise, this is another patchy early album. Good stuff abounds, but it's bogged down by filler and avant-garde crap. 

The first song on the album is the best. "Cirrus Minor" starts off with ONE MINUTE of birds chirping (No joke!) but when the song starts it's GREAT, featuring a incredibly haunting acoustic guitar theme coupled with eerie singing and spooky organs in the background, and creates an awesome atmospheric piece which is also quite simple, before giving way to an EPIC, majestic slow chording from Richard Wright that gives me chills, coupled with creepy atmospheric sounds. Yep, this is one great start to the album. "The Nile Song" is just as good, however. The most interesting thing about the song is that it is almost grunge, released over 20 years before Kurt and Co. launched it onto the world. But not only is it innovative and ahead of it's time, it's awesome. The main, ultra-distorted riff is crushing, Mason's drums are powerful, and Gilmour's near-screamed vocals show he could sing metal surprisingly well, also cool is how the main verse melody changes keys SIX times! We also get a ripping guitar solo as well. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, the following "Crying Song" is not good at ALL. MY GOODNESS, is it one sleeeeeeeeeeepy song. The song is SO quiet, you might not even notice it's playing if you're listening in the background, and the melody is just bland acoustic strumming. It works as a cure for insomnia but nothing more. "Up The Khyber" is better though, a neat little jazz piece with frantic drumming from Mason mixed in with some neat piano parts from Wright and some wild organ noodling. I can't say much more than that, it's a pretty simple song, and short, at only 2 minutes. 

The third pick for "best song" on the album comes after that. "Green Is The Colo (u)r" is another acoustic ballad, but it's BEAUTIFUL. The acoustic melody, coupled with the flutes in the background, is positively gorgeous, and Gilmour's falsetto singing and Rick's piano solo adds to it perfectly to create a incredibly lovely atmosphere. A terrific song, one of their prettiest. 

"Cymbaline" is also good, creating a wonderfully creepy atmosphere from it's sparse arrangement of just piano and faint drumming, and it also boasts great singing from Gilmour. The slow organ themes are great too (In terms of slow atmospheric sequences i stand by that NO ONE was better than Rick Wright). However, the end of side one, "Party Sequence" is completely dispensable, nothing more than drumming.

The second side is all group-composed instrumentals (sans one) and they very in quality. "Main Theme" is very good. A panning gong intro gives way to MORE spooky atmospheric playing by Rick (My favorite keyboardist, honestly), a neat booming drum track from Nick, with panning gongs in the background, and a great slide guitar solo to close things off. I also want to point out the wah-wah effects on the organ are REALLY cool. 

Up next is "Ibiza Bar", another proto-grunge song similar to the "Nile Song" and it's pretty close to the standard. The main guitar riff and singing aren't as strong as "Nile Song" but still awesome, and the organ parts are neat too. The guitar solo is also a ripping one. 

Unfortunately, the album falls off with the last four tracks. "More Blues" has pretty much no melody to speak of, it's just guitar noodling (I guess some of the noodling's good, but...) "Quicksilver" is another awful avant-garde song, with no rhyme, reason, or cohesion, just noises and atonal organ parts, and of course it lasts SEVEN minutes, easily the longest track on the album, and to make matters worse while "Interstellar Overdrive" and "A Saucerful of Secrets" had good bits, this doesn't. Easily one of Floyd's bottom 10.

 "A Spanish Piece"  is the VERY DEFINITION of filler, just about half a minute of flamenco guitar while Gilmour whispers Spanish phrases. Thankfully, "Dramatic Theme" ends the album on a high note, a neat funky jam with cool wah-wah soloing from Gilmour. 

You may notice this review's very short compared to others, but that's simply because lots of songs are simple, short instrumentals. Overall, while it could be a good album, the presence of five tracks I don't really like really weighs it down, so I can't give it any more than a 3/5. Get it for the good stuff.

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