also by Pink Floyd:
Pink Floyd's second album is a patchy affair, as they struggled to pick up the pieces around former creative force Syd Barrett's mental disintegration. It seems as if they knew they were part of the "psychedelic" scene, whether they wanted to be or not, and grudgingly wrote psychedelic music. That's how it sounds on the opening track "Let There be More Light", as they name-check Lucy in the sky. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is their most successful tune here, with its one-note organ and hypnotic bassline being a defining sound of "space-rock". 5 minutes isn't really enough for this, and it would be suitably stretched out in live shows (see "Ummagumma"). The title track is a chaotic and partially successful avant-garde sound experiment. The highlight of this track live was Roger Waters going crazy banging an enormous gong with all his strength.
As for the rest, "Remember a Day" and "See-Saw" are flowery late 60s antiquities, but no more interesting than that. "Corporal Clegg" is an ominous foreboding of Roger Waters' future anti-war diatribes, with an ironically perky tune. "Jugband Blues" must be one of the most hauntingly sad endings to an album. It's Syd Barrett's only appearance, singing with disturbing honesty about his alienation and fractured mind.
March 8, 2004