The album I will be reviewing today comes from a band that I’m sure everyone has heard of. The band I am talking about is none other than Pink Floyd.
Whether you know of the band’s history or not, all you need to know is this foursome has produced some of the most influential albums in rock history. From albums like “Dark Side of the Moon,” “The Wall,” and “Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd has rocked over several decades, and has evolved their style over that same span. For Pink Floyd to reach such a height of popularity, several albums needed to have been made prior to help launch their career. I believe that without their album “Meddle,” Pink Floyd might be a different band today.
Despite being simpler compositions than their later works, “Meddle” contains some of my favorite Pink Floyd songs. The lack of craziness (as I like to call it) that Roger Waters brings to their later albums is missing, which makes this album a much easier listen. The simple-ness that accompanies each song reminds me of great background music that enhances any social gathering.
What I love most about this album compared to some of their most popular albums is the variety of styles of rock within the album. Songs like “San Tropez” and “Seamus” are filled with jazzy guitar and piano, which are later explored in the album “Dark Side of the Moon”. The song “San Tropez” is named after the city in France, a beautiful waterfront city overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. When I listen to the song, I feel as if the wind is blowing in my face as I drive my 70’s convertible along a long, windy road alongside the beach.
“One of These Days” is my second favorite song on the album, consisting of a 6 minute instrumental. This progressive, psychedelic song starts off the album, and immediately draws the listener in. As you hear the bass guitar evolve and delay over both earphones, the keyboard adds sound effects and texture before reaching the climax. By then, the drums starts the jam session with a smash against the ride cymbal. I love to imagine this band playing this song in a garage, having fun with their different effects.
“Fearless” and “A Pillow of Winds” use clean guitar and a slow tempo to help continue the theme of easy listening. The simple styles of classic rock are affluent in these songs, as David Gilmour and Roger Waters turn to a more acoustic sound.
By far, the best song on this album is their signature track “Echoes.” For those of you who still own record players, “Echoes” takes up the entire second side with their 23 minute track, summing up the various styles used throughout the album. Part easy listening, part psychedelic, part progressive, the song is separated into different sections. Using various sound effects from the keyboard and guitar, Pink Floyd uses improvisation techniques to create another garage-like atmosphere. Adding to the great music is the lyrics that can be interpreted in so many ways. Does it follow a concept? Is it simply about the human experience? It’s up to the listener.
I love to hear the evolution of Pink Floyd through their music. I feel that most of their older albums are too scattered and unfocused, while some of their newer albums are too focused and follow to much of a concept, which limits the listener’s imagination and creativity. I believe “Meddle” is the perfect balance between these two sides of Pink Floyd, and is worth a listen, especially among fans who are more familiar with their more popular albums.
Check out this Youtube video featuring the song “San Tropez”!