Monday, August 9, 2010

Albums2010 #22: Meddle

This album was extremely hard to review for some reason and I'm not entirely sure why, but after a month off I've sat down, thought about it and came up with the following: Meddle is completely and utterly random.

No seriously. If you snag this Pink Floyd album expecting ethereal tones and dark psychedlia that marks a lot of their other albums, think again, because what makes Meddle both interesting and maddening is that there's not one single thread that joins this album together, other than the fact it was recorded by the same band. Every song (and granted there are only six) is fundamentally different from every other song on the album which makes this disc very hard to deconstruct.

Let me illustrate:

1. One Of These Days- Instrumental, Hard Core
2. A Pillow Of Winds- Soft and Dreamy
3. Fearless- Football Anthem
4. San Tropez- Peppy Love Song
5. Seamus- Blues Song Featuring Actual Dog
6. Echoes- 20 Minute Psychedlic Rock Song

See what I mean? There's no easy way to break those six songs down into one package, which is what was driving me somewhat nutty last month, so upon reflection, I've decided that I just don't care anymore and I'm just going to do the best I can with this- so apologies if this review seems a little scattershot, because really when you get right down to it, this album was pretty scattershot as well.

So what did I like about this album? Well, the sheer joyful randomness of it all is very appealing. Floyd breaks their usual mold with this one and it's interesting to listen too. 'One Of These Days' and 'Echoes' bookend the album with the more typical Floyd sound, but the four tracks in the middle? Not so much: 'A Pillow Of Winds' feels like a soft and dreamy love song. 'Fearless' jams out over a recording of the Kop Choir of Liverpool F.C. singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' which might be Floyd's attempt to be all Gary Glitter and get something that sounds good over stadium speakers, I don't know. 'San Tropez' really shocked me, because it was peppy, upbeat and a real live love song, something which I had never heard on a Pink Floyd album before. And finally 'Seamus' (which many Pink Floyd fans consider to be their worst song EVER) was a nice little blues tune feature a dog howling along with the music. Odd, but strangely it worked.

And I think that last statement probably sums up Meddle perfectly: Odd, but strangely it worked. And it does and it's fascinating and it's certainly good enough, in my view to deserve a place towards the top of Pink Floyd's pantheon of really great albums, including The Wall, Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here. Two tracks that kicked the most ass: 'Fearless' and 'One Of These Days' (in other words, if you're going to download anything from this album, snag those two bad boys.)

Overall: An underrated, wonderfully random album from Pink Floyd. Worth a listen and if you're a serious fan of Pink Floyd, a must have.

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