9 of 9 thought this review was well written
The members of Pink Floyd have two sets of children. One of them is the result of gettin' it on. The latter is a result of going into a studio and recording a bunch of songs. Now generally parents don't play favourites with their litter, but poor little Atom Heart Mother
has been singled out by them as one of their worst albums. So is this album the wino that's too lazy to move out, out of the children? In the Pink Floyd's eyes, yes. But really, Atom Heart Mother
isn't that much of a lazy alcoholic. Despite the Floyd's dislike, the album isn't as bad as it's painted by various sources, and is certainly not the worst Pink Floyd album.
Atom Heart Mother
was released in 1970, Pink Floyd still in their experimental prime and ready to tinker even more with modern music. After Syd Barrett was kicked out in 1968, Pink Floyd found it hard to construct solid albums and to match the success of their debut and the singles formed by Barrett. Releasing increasingly experimental and sprawling avant-garde works, Pink Floyd were struggling for a new sound but testing stuff out at the same time. So Pink Floyd released an album with their wackiest songs to date and with more mature songs. Oh those crazy kids.
If you describe Atom Heart Mother
with one word, well, the point is you wouldn't be able to (words like "pwngasmic" or "piece-o-***" don't count). Though the album is considered to be very experimental, it contains calm, bare songs like If
. If is surprisingly the only Roger Waters song on the album, it's a quietly sung song starting the mostly acoustic theme on the album. Roger's voice is much more grounded and proper than the goofy singing the bass player made on earlier songs. The gloomy guitar solo doesn't add a whole lot to the song, Gilmour plays a much better, perhaps one of his best, in the otherwise boring Fat Old Sun
. Fat Old Sun is also a quiet acoustic song, but not nearly as interesting or melodious as If. Those songs aren't varied at all, but rest assured, Atom Heart Mother
has some wack shiznit, perhaps even wackier than its title.
Like 1971's Meddle
, Atom Heart Mother
stands out for a single song. That song is the monstrous, pretentious, perplexing, Atom Heart Mother
. Compiled of 6 parts and totaling 23 minutes, you can expect a spectacle, love it or hate it. To love it or hate it, this is many times the case when it comes to Floyd fans' opinions of this song. With subsections with names like Breast Milky
and Funky Dung
, you may ask yourself how out of it were Pink Floyd at this time. The music might just answer that question for you. Whether it'd be writing songs compiled mostly of noise making or just straight up Rock, you never knew what Pink Floyd were going to do. They get a little help from their friends here, getting an entire orchestra and an avant-garde compose to make this scattered epic. Driven mainly by what's been described as a "recycled Western movie theme" by the members, Atom Heart Mother begins with a very catchy chord progression lead by the horn sections. But the whole concept of keeping a 23 minute song lead by one chord progression is quickly chucked out; Atom Heart Mother changes rather suddenly and awkwardly throughout the song, making the song less enjoyable and seems even more directionless.
Perhaps the smoothest section is d. Funky Dung
, it quickly changes the theme to a, well, funky piece, ditching all the orchestra gobbledygook as Waters dishes out a funky bassline. Roger Waters isn't really a good bassist, clearly enjoying to play something else when given the chance. It's rare that a progressive rock band doesn't have a kick-ass bass player, but that's Floyd for you. Even guitarist David Gilmour proves to be a better one, but Waters is still good. As he plays the bassline, keyboardist Rick Wright lays out equally funky organ playing, as Gilmour struts his stuff, playing an improvised sounding solo. Funky Dung then takes a strange turn, as the choir members start chanting random words (I doubt if some of them are real ones), the whole thing builds up until re-introducing the main theme again. After that the song falls apart completely, going through a strange interlude of noises and previous themes, essentially ruining a possibly perfect ending. And that's only around 15 minutes. Atom Heart Mother then loses my interest completely as it starts to repeat itself after the pointlessly weird interlude, dragging out the song way too much. I still enjoy listening to it, I think this album is underrated, but the song could've been reduced greatly.
Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast
rivals the title track as most bewildering song on Atom Heart Mother
. No, the song title does have a meaning, because the song really is about Alan having breakfast. Alan the roadie has breakfast while Pink Floyd noodle around with their instruments for 11 minutes. Mostly Wright's piano and Gilmour's guitar play around while Alan smacks his lips after taking bites of toast, cooking some eggs and mumbling stuff to himself. Don't dismiss it so quickly, as many have, the music is actually pretty good, but granted, gets boring after a while. The last part of it c. Morning Glory
, is the best, all the little themes and noodling come together to end one of the strangest instrumentals ever.
Atom Heart Mother
isn't a very easy album to get into, specifically Atom Heart Mother and Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast. I really don't recommend this album to anyone trying to start out with Pink Floyd, unless you like music that's really out there. As for me, this is the second Floyd album that I listened to, I actually that it was awesome. ***ing weird, but awesome. There is one track here that does instantly appeal and is very fun, though is very un-Floydian. Summer '68
is a Beach Boysesque upbeat Rick Wright song, probably one of the poppiest Floyd songs ever. It's about Wright banging groupies and whatnot, with menacing sounding horn interludes and a chorus consisting of 'How do you feel? Ba ba ba bada da da da da da da da da'
. Though Atom Heart Mother
is puzzling, messy, experimental, it's good when you give it a chance, but has it's shares of weak spots. The fun thing about such a varied, crazy album is that you won't get bored of most of it any time soon. And remember, love all your children equally... or at least pretend to.
Atom Heart Mother------------> 3 stars