HRH and I have decided to keep on with the “Like WOW man!” theme we established with the previous album and are moving onto an album that is near and dear for both of us, this ‘Meddle‘ album by Pink Floyd.
This album is special for HRH as it was the first album that she dutifully hunted out nearly 4 years ago after falling in love with the track ‘Echoes‘ which makes up the entire second side. When she did happen to find it at our second Record Fair, it also just happened to be the Israeli release of the album which was unfortunately a bit more than I really wanted to spend.
Of course, one look at those hopeful little puppy dog eyes and, well, what’s a dutiful step-dad to do?
For my part, this was a regular weekend psychedelic staple back in my ‘ol alma mater days when staying in my bedroom for 48 hours with a baggie of mushrooms was an ideal way to spend time.
‘Atom Heart Mother‘, for all its glories, was an acquired taste, and the Floyd wisely decided to trim back its orchestral excesses for this follow-up album. Opening with a deliberately surging ‘One of These Days‘, ‘Meddle‘ spends most of its time with sonic textures and elongated compositions, most notably on its epic closer, ‘Echoes‘ which so blew HRH‘s mind one afternoon when it came on the car radio.
If there aren’t pop songs in the classic sense (even on the level of the group’s contributions to ‘Ummagumma‘), there is a uniform tone, ranging from the pastoral ‘A Pillow of Winds‘ to ‘Fearless‘, with its insistent refrain hinting at latter-day Floyd. Pink Floyd were nothing if not masters of texture, and ‘Meddle‘ is one of their greatest excursions into little details, pointing the way to the measured brilliance of ‘Dark Side of the Moon‘ and the entire Roger Waters era. Here, David Gilmour exerts a slightly larger influence, at least based on lead vocals, but it’s not all sweetness and light – even if its lilting rhythms are welcome, ‘San Tropez‘ feels out of place with the rest of the album but no less awesome. Still, the album is one of the Floyd’s most consistent explorations of mood, especially from their time at Harvest, and it stands as the strongest record they released between Syd’s departure and ‘Dark Side…‘.
The fact that I’m currently tripping the light fandango a la Percocet definitely doesn’t hurt it any either. Not exactly what I originally used to trip to with album in the past, of course, but it’ll do.