Syd's final work before withdrawing as a broken recluse starts innocently enough, with the breezy, just about normal pop of "Baby Lemonade". But in the next few songs it soon becomes obvious that he has lost most of his will to carry on making music. Syd mutters his disjointed lyrics half-heartedly over one-chord strums, while friends Dave Gilmour and Rick Wright try desperately to improvise something interesting over the top of them. Instead of the anguished emotional release on "The Madcap Laughs" this is filled with a kind of nihilistic melancholy. This works on the utterly depressing "Dominoes", but most of the time it just sounds like he can't be bothered. There's some brief sparks of his former twisted genius on the insanely catchy "Gigolo Aunt". And fortunately the end of the album completely dispels the misery with the surreal "Effervescing Elephant". Complete with parping tuba, this could easily have appeared on a particularly druggy pre-school TV show.
May 4, 2004