3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
You may like it or not - I love it,
This review is from: Atom Heart Mother (Audio CD)
The record I'll choose if I was to take a single one on a desert island (my choice throughout the last 4 decades). To me, the relief and "mindwash" in times of sorrow.
I don't see why some say it is conceptual. I think there's no common motif of the tracks (neither philosophically, nor musically - in contrast to the later albums of Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Animals and Wall). Anyway, it is a collection of masterpieces. The 1st side of the original LP is occupied by the sole monumental AHM suite (all group members being co-authors), side 2 is reserved to a more traditional song-writing by individual PF members.
The AHM suite cannot be compared to anything else I've heard. Although being so long, it attracts you from the very beginning to the very end. The sound backbone of the record is the essential sound of PF of the early 70's (already the typical sounds of the keyboards, David Gilmour's guitar, and notably, the accurate, sensitive and well recorded Nick Mason's drums) which is here already devoid of the harmonies and arrangements used previously by Syd Barrett (I think the last LP on which we can musically trace Syd was Ummagumma - of course, spiritual heritage of Syd remained, as quoted on Wish You Were Here). The typical feature of the AHM suite are the contrasts of soothing harmonies and weird disharmonies, the contrasts of very calm, peaceful or contemplative parts with epical parts or even the slightly pompous finale (reminding of a happy-end of a drama). The contrasts are boosted by the incredibly sophisticated usage of the choir (wonderful voices so well corresponding to the sound) and horns. It is this unscrupulous ease of mixing the choir a brass arrangements (not at all trendy) with the rock'n blues backbone of PF's music that makes this album so outstanding and different to anything in PF's career.
The triad of the songs on side 2 of the LP) are simply 3 more pearls. If is a quiet acoustic tune (sung in a rather frustrated and shivering voice - asking "If I go insane, please don't put your wires in my brain" - ). Summer '68 is a decent Wright's nostalgia of the fast loves of the Hippie days, with brilliant keyboards. Fat Old Sun is a very fragile tune. The last track - Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast is well defined by its name. It employs some tapes of musique concrete, as we know it e.g. from Ummagumma). You can feel the exhaustion of the last night's trip, with the relief of the bacon crackling on the pan and the WC splash while the sun is rising.