Okay, so there are some things we must admit about Pink Floyd that hardcore Yes fans are always pestering us about. They weren't too complex. They weren't virtuosos. They didn't have bad hair (in the 70s, at least). They weren't that
progressive, in the sense that Yes are. But still, the boys knew how to do their stuff. Why, one of everyone's most beloved albums Dark Side of the Moon
was mostly developed on Floyd's 1971 and 1972 tours, playing early versions at shows, and writing the album in between shows and even recording sessions. Well, really only one recording session, the one for Obscured by Clouds
. Plus the whole album was done in two weeks. But still, the writing process had to be stressful at times. The two weeks Pink Floyd took could've been a break, 'finally, we can stop writing this crazy concept album and play some good ol' rock 'n' roll!' maybe even therapeutic. Unlike John Lennon's music therapy, this therapy is surprisingly cohesive and well-crafted. So why has this album gone unnoticed? It's a soundtrack, and the band is discriminatory towards them. Plus it's to a movie no one remembers, if they had done Saturday Night Fever, I'm sure they would've went the other way for once.
is generally regarded as the transition from Floyd's experimental, and sometimes directionless music to the 'classic' Pink, Obscured By Clouds
also does its share. Its overall sound is very much similar, going from the organ driven relaxation with an undertone of powerful emotion Mudmen
resembling Us & Them
, to the straightforward rocker The Gold, It's in the...
. Unlike older Floyd albums, Obscured by Clouds
flows smoothly all the way through, never going out of balance. And though we all wish Pink Floyd would make another watery 23 minute trip likes Echoes
, this has relatively standard length tracks.
Obscured by Clouds
shows a lot of what was classic rock, mostly thanks to Dave Gilmour. His signature guitar is very prominent throughout the album, but not to the point where one begins to wonder if this is Pink Floyd or one of those loud rock and/or roll bands mother disapproves of. Most noticeably is the cheery The Gold, It's in the...
, driven by an almost cheesy guitar riff (for the Pinks at least) and Gilmour's also cheesy sounding voice. His gruff voice doesn't really fit the type of songs you'd hear on those lousy road trip teen movies.
Though a lot of Fat Dave's blues distortion is featured on the album, it's not enough to keep the more serene songs down. The great textures and ambience provided by Rick Wright's organ and synthesizers (the first time Floyd uses them) resemble the sonic mystery of Echoes
. Obscured by Coulds
covers a lot of ground in terms of Pink Floyd's past and future, ranging from their pastoral type songs, to spacey instrumentals. Despite the range, Floyd play it safe the whole time, not expanding on what could be better songs. The band reached stellar levels in Meddle
and Dark Side...
, but here they stay at a normal level. It sounds like a textural rock record, more or less like the first soundtrack they did, More
, which also seemed to restrain the band's creativity, but still make solid songs. It's still finely crafted, but anyone expecting something at the levels of their later works might be disappointing. Or one of those snooty Yes fan jarks.