Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mixin' Mortar

I've finally thrown myself into the deep end of the pool and listened to The Wall, today. First disc in the tub, and the second on the way to Port Chester for P.C.M.A. practice. As I mentioned to Karl - talking with him to try to arrange my thoughts on it - I surprised no-one more than myself by actually finding that I liked it quite a bit. Still, I think I need a couple of days to marinate (or fester) in it before I can write anything sensible.

With the review of The Wall, I'll have officially hit the halfway point!

Albums down:
1) Obscured by Clouds
2) A Momentary Lapse of Reason
3) Animals
4) More
5) Dark Side of the Moon
6) A Saucerful of Secrets

On deck: The Wall

Still to come (although not likely the order in which they'll be reviewed):
1) Piper at the Gates of Dawn
2) Ummagumma
3) Atom Heart Mother
4) Meddle
5) Wish You Were Here
6) The Final Cut
7) The Division Bell

Most of which I count among my top 100 favorite albums, and one of which - Meddle - has long been my favorite album, not just coincidentally because it has my favorite song. Ever.

Since I had no real plan when I set out other than to revisit these albums with a critical ear, I'm pleased to note that I'm capable of writing positive reviews at length. It's a sad truth that as a critic, I've always found it easier to praise things through an honest appraisal of their flaws than to go on at length about positive qualities, even for those works I love unreservedly.

And the Floyd catalog is more than just a bunch of albums that I own - in many ways, these albums shaped my aesthetic sense, particularly with instrumental approach and the weighted image approach to lyric writing. On a deeper level, the story of the band and the internal fighting serve as an object lesson for me. So the reviews, both positive and negative, are in some feedback-looped way a review of myself. Even moreso than your average article of criticism by any critic you could name, these Rambler Floyd reviews should tell you a lot about me by the time we're all done.

BTW: As mentioned in the second part of my Saucerful review I've been futzing around with an arrangement of that album's See Saw. And can I say: what a lovely song. Once you strip away the half-assed playing and the really overripe production, you find a lyric that stands up with any of the best in the Floyd catalog, along with a really melancholy harmonic and melodic set. I'm definitely going to get this one down on 'tape,' at some point.


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