Nick Mason's "solo album" is actually an album by jazz pianist Carla Bley, but released under the name of the Pink Floyd drummer, presumably for more exposure. As it turns out the only people who seemed to have got this were rabid Floyd completists. Robert Wyatt does a distinctively deadpan, sardonic turn on vocals, and a bunch of horn players jazz things up. It's an enjoyable lark-about, mixing silly novelties with soft jazz twiddling.
Floyd die-hards may cringe, but "Can't Get My Motor to Start", sung by Karen Kraft, is a great piece of goofy comedy pop. "Hot River", with its podgy guitar solos and wailing "Great Gig" style vocal turn, is the only thing that sounds even vaguely like Pink Floyd. But the stand-out is "I'm a Mineralist" - to my knowledge, the only existing song about geological fetishism. In a moment of inspiration, Wyatt sings the bizarre lyrics to a remarkably sincere and earnest melody.
I could end this review with a big list of all the album's daft lyrics, but one that doesn't seem to get mentioned is from "Siam": "all the fancy pussy-cats come from this area".
September 22, 2004