Pink Floyd
A Saucerful of Secrets


4.5
superb

Review

by DistantDylann USER (18 Reviews)
July 8th, 2024 | 6 replies


Release Date: 1968 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album full of mystery, wonder, and mind-boggling psychedelia

This is the last Syd-era album. This is when David Gilmour came in and Syd was on his way out. Yes, the Syd era is a very short time period of the bands history, yet arguably one of its most important as Syd's decline in mental health and his isolation inspired many of their best songs and concepts. This album had a noticeable decrease in Syd's contribution but he's still there.

"Remember a Day" by Richard Wright is a genius song with nostalgic lyrics that look back on the innocence of childhood, longing for some sort of return to the simpler times that provided you with joy and relaxation. It also has some utterly beautiful keyboard work that show just how versatile and skilled Richard Wright is, and unique tempo shifts provided by producer Norman Smith, who stepped in for Nick Mason as he couldn't find the right drumbeat to go with the song. As for the guitar part, it is Syd on slide guitar which elevates the song to a whole new level as he gives it its atmosphere.

"Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun" is Roger's first great lyrics, being influenced by ancient Chinese poetry and the music is incredible, being the only song in which all five band members play at once (guitar parts are a bit hard to hear but multiple are done by both Syd and David). "Jugband Blues" is an eerily self-aware song that Syd composed with a middle section sounding like someone devolving into madness. Considering the lyrics, this actually works quite well even despite how loose the composition in the middle section is. It's definitely the greatest track to come out of this record! "Let There Be More Light" is fantastic and has one of Roger's best basslines, although it borrows from part of "Interstellar Overdrive" on the debut. It's a fantastic way to set up the overall feel of the record as a whole, and gives you the feeling of something mysterious, whimsical, yet enticing.

About the title track, it's a master-stroke of creativity. Working as a complete instrumental with no words, it tells the story of a battle alongside the emotional aftermath, it's pretty much the "Interstellar Overdrive" of this album in it being a long, largely improvised piece of music. Split into four parts, "Something Else" sets up the battle with its eerie echoing organ, jazzy and light cymbal fade-in, piano, bass, and vibraphone. This smoothly transitions into a drum tape loop by Nick Mason which represents the actual battle going on with the distorted guitars and piano slamming simulating the noises of battle, this part is called "Syncopated Pandemonium" and it then goes into "Storm Signal" which is meant to be observing the bodies of the soldiers who had died on the field during the war, and lastly into "Celestial Voices" which has David, Rick, and Roger doing gospel-tinged harmonies as they mourn the dead. While this is a fantastic track, it is much better performed live than the version on the album.

With that being said, what brings this down is how a lot of the songs on this end up being much better performed in a live setting rather than on this album. They perfected these tracks later on. The only bad track is "See-Saw" with awkward lyrics and a mediocre composition that goes in one ear and out the other, the rhyme scheme is also off and really makes it pretty bland of a listen. Rick was even critical of the song despite it being his. "Corporal Clegg" features interesting use of kazoos in the melody taking over the guitars' part at some areas. This one doesn't work all that well considering it's about a disabled veteran and his alcoholic wife, the composition seems to be more on the sarcastic and silly side, and the kazoo solo is a bit much. Roger had a long way to go in terms of writing songs about war with lyrics, but he'd figure it out eventually, but at least this song has entertainment value going for it, making it decent enough.

Overall, this is easily one of their strongest outputs, and one of the greatest in their discography overall, but not one of the best of all time. It is a very slight step down after The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Track By Track:
Let There Be More Light: ★★★★
Remember a Day: ★★★★★
Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun: ★★★★★
Corporal Clegg: ★★★
A Saucerful of Secrets: ★★★★
See-Saw: ★
Jugband Blues: ★★★★★ 🎖️



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DistantDylann
July 9th 2024


41 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Probably the only "space rock" record I've heard but if anyone has suggestions feel free to lmk! It's a fun genre

e210013
July 9th 2024


5308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a great album and I always loved it. A great follower of "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" but a different kind of stuff. It represents the beginning of Waters era in the band.

It was nice to read your review pal. Pos.

zoso33
July 11th 2024


610 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Saucer unfolds differently every spin; a catalogue of the experimental days as much as it is a testament to free-form art rock, this stands as a monumental step in psychedelic music.

evilford
July 11th 2024


65180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Three stars for corporal clegg haha huge L

evilford
July 11th 2024


65180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That came off rather rude



Looks like you're a newer user.



Just fyi, I do genuinely believe that pretty much all opinions on music have validity to them. If u see me make comments like the above, don't take it too seriously, I am merely fucking w/ u

DistantDylann
July 11th 2024


41 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@evilford I am aware, don't worry! It's all in good fun also 3 stars still means positive, just a tad bit of a weaker song/album. My review scale is anything 5-3 is positive, below isn't.



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