Sound — 10
Wish You Were Here is a concept album by progressive legends Pink Floyd, and is their 9th studio album. This album had a lot to live up to considering how much of a smash hit their previous album, The Dark Side of the Moon, was. I personally believe that Pink Floyd delivered amazingly and went beyond what was expected of them. Pink Floyd does an amazing job with this album and making it flow, the transitions between songs being so perfect that half of the time you hardly even realize that the songs have changed. Although the transitions are so smooth, this doesn't mean that all of the songs are the same, in fact it's quite the opposite. Each song in the album has a different feel while keeping the same concept in place, making it easy to listen to each song both individually and - for the whole experience - as an album from start to finish. The album is not terrifically long, clocking in at just under 45 minutes. Yes, this is a bit of a letdown especially considering how much you get into the music, but instead of a long album you listen to once, it's a album that you're going to listen to over and over again. You can tell Pink Floyd has had fun experimenting with sound on this album, and has expanded from just the traditional bass, drums, guitar, and vocals that one would expect from a band in that era. In fact, in this album (especially on the bookend tracks "Shine on You Crazy Diamond") it is not uncommon to hear band members play multiple instruments throughout the course of the track. From synths to lap guitars to saxophone to strange tape effects, this album will blow your mind over and over again, and its clear the band has pushed the limitations of what makes a rock band. David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright have all done a tremendous job with this album, and have created what is surely a masterpiece in the eyes of all classic rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and any other type of rock fans. This album feels like one huge trip, truly an experience like no other. Although there are little bits and pieces of areas that could be improved on in places in the album, they are too little compared to all of the positives and greats we see. Nothing's perfect, but this is pretty close.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album focus generally on two things. The first would have to be Syd Barret and of his departure from the band as well as his mental breakdowns. "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", and the albums title track, "Wish You Were Here" are about Syd, and although it might seem straight forward, the lyrics are full of metaphors, meanings, and emotions that really help you get absorbed in the music. The other two tracks, "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar", both focus on the bands obvious negative feelings towards the music industry. They're about the greed and exploitation that occurs in the music industry out of sight of everyone else. Once again, it's a fairly straight forward idea, but Pink Floyd makes it more then just a song, but an experience. For actual vocals, we mostly have Roger Waters and David Gilmour (an outside musician, Roy Harper, sang the vocals for "Have a Cigar"). Waters sings for the vocal segments in "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", where as Gilmour sings for "Wish you Were Here" and "Welcome to the Machine". Both are clearly talented vocalists who know what they are doing and have very powerful voices that can instantly get you into the mood of the songs. They're not necessarily the BEST singers out there, but they have a way of grabbing your attention and getting you to turn the volume up even louder.
Overall Impression — 10
After listening to this album from start to finish, it's clear that it is a masterpiece. It's an album that won't get old no matter how many millions of times you listen to it, and one that will definitely influence you greatly. My personal favourite tracks are "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" (Parts 1-9) and the title track "Wish You Were Here". This album is essential to any fan of any genre of rock, and anyone who listens to it will not be dissapointed. Pink Floyd has always been a band that's about making their albums into musical trips, and this is no exeption. An amazing album that everyone in the world should have a copy of.