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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.64 | 4438 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Many consider their 1975 follow-up, Wish You Were Here to be equal to Dark Side, but that's a point where I disagree. It's a very strong album, but it does have a few glaring flaws which drag it down.

Roger Waters again penned all the lyrics, and he had a hand in the composition of each song, as well, though songwriting remained an overall collaborative effort. The album's concept is based on the band's experience in the music industry, and its quality varies somewhat.

WYWH opens with the first five parts of the 26-minute "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" suite. It begins with droning synths and a delicate, clean guitar solo. This movement dissolves into an expansive, four-note arpeggio which builds into a sinister, psychedelic blues jam. This particular instrumental passage overstays its welcome a little bit, but it eventually does a good job of transitioning into the verses. The verses are some of Waters's strongest compositions and a loving ode to Syd Barrett. The closing sax solo channels the best moments of Dark Side and is a fitting wrap-up to this first half of the suite.

"Welcome to the Machine" is my favorite song on the album, and it might be my overall favorite song by the band. This menacing, pulsing synthesizer experiment contrasts the harsh sterility of the music against the bitter, plaintive vocals. Acoustic guitar bites brilliantly against the electronic tones, and Nick Mason's restrained drumming complements it perfectly.

This masterpiece is then followed by "Have a Cigar", undoubtedly the weakest track on the album. The faux-funkiness of the backing track feels tepid, and guest vocalist Roy Harper sounds strained.

The album's title track is next, and I've got somewhat mixed feelings on it. In isolation, it's a very good song. The folk and country tones of the main guitar line suit the lyrics and vocal delivery, and the warm synth tones in the outro are very nice. But in the context of this album, it feels out of place. This doesn't sound like a Pink Floyd song, and this track's earthiness and rawness clashes against the lusher sound palettes of the other cuts.

The second half of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" wraps up the remainder of the album, and it's overall stronger than the first half. The introductory movement revisits ideas from the first half, this time with a bit more purpose. It isn't quite as wandering, and Rick Wright's synth solo is a highlight. This section feels like a slightly updated version of "One of These Days", and it's some of the band's best in-studio jamming. More funk touches come in after the verse, and these experiments feel less forced than on "Have a Cigar". The song's final movement is piano-and-synth-centric, and the very final moments have a rich hopefulness to them.

Review originally posted here:

TheEliteExtremophile | 4/5 |


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