Probably the oddest of all Floyd solo albums is a collaboration between Waters and Ron Geesin, better known for his grafted-on contributions to Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother". This was the soundtrack to a movie adaptation of an anatomical book by Anthony Smith. The opening concerto of burping, farting and various other body noises over a honky-tonk piano introduces where the album is coming from.
But it's not all goofy sound effects. Most of it consists of experimental classical noodlings on various acoustic instruments, particularly violin and cello. The pieces usually bear spurious connections to the organs of their titles. Providing a curiously sane contrast are some simple songs by Waters, such as "Sea Shell and Stone". These have that bare pastoral acoustic style familiar from his Floyd work of the time, such as "Grantchester Meadows" or "If". Floyd fans may double take at Waters singing "Breathe in the air", but "Breathe" is otherwise unrelated to Floyd's more famous song of the same name.
Overall it's both a disjointed hotch-potch and an interesting curiosity. Geesin's experiments in texture, such as the swelling strings of "Embryo Thought" and spidery tape effects of "The Womb Bit", are spicy but there's not much structure to the twiddlings. Suitable enough for a soundtrack, but it's not satisfying as an album. The vocal collage "More than Seven Dwarfs in Penis-Land" isn't too far from those choral nonsense syllables from "Atom Heart Mother". If you were a huge fan of "Several Small Species..." from Ummagumma then you will lap this up. But you would have to be a rabid Floyd completist with a sense of humour.
Finally we're brought back to Earth by the refreshingly normal "Give Birth To a Smile". This is in effect a Floyd song, as Gilmour, Wright and Mason all lend a hand. Like other folky fluff from Pink Floyd's dodgiest period, such as "Green is the Colour", it's drippy but pleasant enough. The chorus of gospel singers seem to enjoy its tune anyway.
March 28, 2005