Sound — 10
Pink Floyd's glorious, psychadelic debut was released in 1967, when the schizophrenic, drug-addled Syd Barrett was their leader. While the Beatles were being hailed for their wonderful "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," Pink Floyd came in slightly under the radar, out-weirding the very strange "Sgt Pepper's" by miles. "A Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" provides an interesting look at the beginning of one of the most influential rock bands of all time.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics written mostly by Syd Barrett, reflected both his mental illness and his obsession with psychadelic drugs. These lyrics range from hilarious to eerie to just bizarre. For example, in "Bike," Barrett describes his friend named Gerald, who happens to be a mouse. In the same song, he sings about his "clan of gingerbread men," among other strange topics. While making almost no sense whatsoever, his lyrics are strangely charming, and certainly unpredictable. Barrett's lyrics are sung in a heavy British accent, and they fit the trippy, spiraling instrumental backdrop wonderfully.
Overall Impression — 9
While many try to compare this album to their masterpieces, such as "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "Wish You Were Here," it simply cannot be done. With Barrett's influence, Pink FLoyd were almost a completely different band than the artistic, progressive rock monster that they became in the seventies. While I myself prefer the Gilmour-era Floyd, "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" is nevertheless a great album, especially when you need some light hearted music. Standouts include "Lucifer Sam," "Matilda Mother," "Pow R. Toc H.," "Scarecrow," "Astronomy Domine," and "Bike." I absolutely love all the songs on this album, though parts of some are simply too LSD influenced that I cannot even understand them. Pink Floyd's stunning debut is a must have for any real fan.