Pink Floyd, Obscured By Clouds

Dan Epstein

By Dan Epstein

on 06.08.11 in Reviews

Obscured By Clouds (2011 - Remaster)

Pink Floyd
A marvelous record that’s often unfairly overlooked

In the midst of work on what would become Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd took a two-week break and traveled to France to record the soundtrack for Barbet Schroeder's La Vallee. The results were released as Obscured by Clouds, a marvelous record that's often unfairly overlooked. Despite its "work for hire" origins, Obscured by Clouds is actually a better and more cohesive work than many of the Floyd's "real" albums, even if (or maybe because) much of Obscured by Clouds sounds like a dress rehearsal for DSOTM. The band's increasing fondness for the EMS VCS 3 synthesizer (which would be all over DSOTM) is apparent here on cuts like the almost Krautrock-like title track, the dreamy instrumentals "Mudmen" and "Absolutely Curtains," and "Free Four," Roger Waters's morbid campfire sing-along/glam-rock stomp that references the two topics that would soon preoccupy his songwriting: His father's death during WWII, and the pressures of the music business. The Gilmour-sung "Burning Bridges," "Wot's… Uh the Deal?" and "Childhood's End" could've all fit in fairly seamlessly on DSOTM; in fact, "Burning Bridges" and "Childhood's End" bear more than a little resemblance to that album's "Breathe" and "Time," respectively. If you love DSOTM, but may have heard it too many times to process it any more, Obscured by Clouds will give you a fresh hit from the same pipe.