Sound — 10
A very changing, yet original and definitive sound. The Pink Floyd are one of those bands that no matter how much their sound changes per various songs and albums, you know it's them. The album starts with a chill wind blowing, and leads into Roger Waters two-note bass riff, with lots of drum fills around the main chords, backing up the bass on guitar and keyboard. Nick Mason's only vocal line in the Floyd's entire catalogue here comes into play (One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces) in a growly voice, before the song soars into a branching onto heavy rock sound, with some great slide soloing by David Gilmour. In all, One Of These Days is a good opener song to the album. Next comes the slow and reflective song Pillow Of Winds. Some beautiful acoustic guitar and slide work by Gilmour, coupled with some very effective bass slides from Waters. The vocals are delivered clearly, and beautifully, as is Gilmour's way. The song is slow, and has very reflective, almost melancholy feel to it. Next is Fearless; quite an upbeat song. Light guitar and vocal work from Gilmour, with some a Liverpool football club chant interspersed to the background during the intro, and played solo at the end of the song. Quite a childish song in sound, but hauntingly beautiful. Next on the list is San Tropez; a slightly upbeat, almost jazzy sounding song. Very related to the title - the song gives you the impression of a Spanish or Carribean island in the sun, and ones enjoyment if there. Waters sings the lead, and while he's not as good a singer as Gilmour, the delivery is still very good. Nice acoustic slide and piano solo in the middle. Now comes Seamus. Where to start? Firstly, this song is one of the Floyd's most under-rated and under-appreciated songs, possibly in their entire catalogue. At the same time, it's one of their most disliked songs. A twelve bar blues piece, about a dog named Seamus, very reminiscent of the Barrett-era, but simultaneously different from it with Gilmour's distinct acoustic touch. Finally comes Echoes. On the original vinyl, this song took up the entire second side, and why shouldn't it have done? Clocking in a healthy 23: 31 minutes, this piece is truly epic. And even that is an understatement. The song begins with some submarine-like wailing, and leads into an organ backdrop over some lovely guitar work. Beautiful harmonisation of the vocals by Gilmour and Richard Wright, extremely haunting hammond organ background, a powerful sliding bassline and a toneful, soulful and emotional guitar solo make up the first 'segment' of the song. After, comes a very interesting musical jam, with some fantastic guitar riffs in-between each part of the jam, to spice it up a bit. Then comes the pyschadelic part; wailing, very similar to that of a submarine, is played for a good few minutes. Most consider this to be boring and unnessecary, but others think it fits well into the context of the song, yadda yadda yadda. Finally, the song rounds of nicely with a final verse/'chorus' and some haunting organ chords, splashed with some quiet and beautiful guitar parts to exit. The song ends with a wind blowing, the same way the entire album started. As far as the sound of this album goes, it's fairly diverse, but within its boudaries.
Lyrics — 9
Very good lyrically. One Of These Days, has on vocal line, which isn't particularly great, and loses some points. The Liverpool football chant in Fearless isn't particularly, good either. Fearless has some very childish lyrics, and Seamus's lyrics as incredibly reminiscent of the Barrett days, but also costitutes what a stereotypical 12-bar-blues song is. A Pillow Of Winds has some nice imagery, and some beautiful sounding lyrics, but doesn't seem to mean anything in particular. Entirely based on interpretation. San Tropez is similar; it has some nice imagery, but at the same time is childish, and even meaningless. But it does get the island style image across. Finally, Echoes. Is there anything this song can't do? The lyrics are fantastic. They are, like A Pillow Of Winds, entirely down to interpretation, with no seemingly intended meaning behind them. However, this is considered by many to be the bands' best song lyrically. Hell, musically as well, but that's for another time. Echoes' lyrics have absolutely wonderful imagery, but are incredibly vague. There are any amount of meanings that anyone can draw from any part of the song, which makes it so wonderful; it can be accessed by anyone, related to by anyone, and can reach so many people on so many different levels. On the whole, the lyrics could be more specific in some areas, but the vagueness works fantastically well for Echoes.
Overall Impression — 10
Personally, I feel that this is the best album by Pink Floyd. It certainly marked an era; they had almost completely left the Barrett side of their music, and had already almost perfected their sound which so many people would come to love on the two most mainstream and liked following albums (Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were). An often overlooked, this is one of the Floyd's most under-rated albums, and I can't see why. It's sound in versatile yet within its own boundaries, the lyrics while vague and sometimes childish - are beautiful, and the music as per usual with Floyd is just lacks any sort of description really. No words can express how fantastic the band, their music and this album is, and even that is an understatement. If this were to slip out of my possession, I would definately buy it again. This is a must-have for any Floyd fan, and progressive rock fan, and any pyschadelic rock fan. It can be accessed quite easily by many other types of musical people, but probably won't be as appreciated.