Monday, November 10, 2014

The lengths one goes to ... At lunchtime I nipped out to the local Mediamarkt only to find that the new Floyd album had sold out, next delivery Wednesday or Thursday.

This afternoon the traffic was unusually quiet (tomorrow's holiday) & so it seemed worth chancing it & continuing into town. & yes, there in Fnac were stacks of CDs.

I've only listened up to track 7 but ... yes, & I know this will able a bit of a shock, it is better than I'd feared. Track 2 is gorgeous - delivering the kind of pleasure you get in a dream when you seem to have happened into a jam session with your favourite band noodling in & around their well-known album. The familiar unfamiliar & that frisson of a look behind the scenes.

As for the 'package': the cover art is unimaginative compared to the days of Hipgnosis, the postcards - especially the one of the smug looking Gilmour & Mason - regrettable, the booklet obviously playing on ideas of sailing & navigation (although how the recording studio houseboat would make it up the Thames let alone the Greek Islands ... but why carp?). However, wouldn't it have been refreshing to go in the opposite direction & deliberately underplay it - restrained white cover, hints, suggestions, sketches ... as when the Floyd were all but invisible.

Because that's what your ears glimpse ... hints of what Floyd might have been had Rick Wright spent less time on his yachts & Roger Waters had siphoned off his personal traumas into side solo projects. For these fragments actually argue that the ever so famous Pink Floyd sound could have taken off in a very different direction - a music that embraced space and texture & didn't need the (commercial) straitjackets of lyric content & stadium rock flourishes. No doubt they'd have made a lot less money but ... we might have had some much more exciting & unpredictable music.

I'll let you know how the remaining tracks go.

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