Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
A founding member of Pink Floyd who suffered a mental breakdown in the late '60s, Syd Barrett is revered in some circles for his singular vision. While outtake recordings that have surfaced have sadly shown much of his psy... more »
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A founding member of Pink Floyd who suffered a mental breakdown in the late '60s, Syd Barrett is revered in some circles for his singular vision. While outtake recordings that have surfaced have sadly shown much of his psychic dislocation, his two solo albums he released have much idiosyncratic beauty to offer. Barrett is the second solo album, joining The Madcap Laughs as a solid representation of Barrett's innate tunefulness and bizarre, surrealist imagery. Produced by the Floyd's David Gilmour and Rick Wright and featuring Humble Pie's Jerry Shirley on drums, the album veers from lighthearted shuffling jug band tunes to the grand and majestic "Baby Lemonade," possibly Barrett's finest song. Several other Barrett staples such as "Dominoes," "Rats," "Gigolo Aunt," and "Effervescing Elephant" showcase Barrett's knack for unexpected chord changes and inventive rhythmic breaks. Ironically, Barrett's music is not some heavy "acid rock" trip but a free-spirited, openly optimistic, and folkie journey through one man's unusual mind. --Rob O'Connor
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Kerry Leimer | Makawao, Hawaii United States | 05/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no way to predict either "The Madcap Laughs" or "Barrett" based on the few things we originally heard from Syd on Pink Floyd's debut album. At once, the records are miles apart and still as close as they could ever be. Of the two solo albums, "Barrett" is perhaps more readily accessible than "The Madcap Laughs" simply because it features a more typical rock line-up and a more traditional "songs" approach. But there is nothing typical or traditional about "Barrett".This album is eccentirc in different ways: the "oh I forgot I was playing a solo" solo in "Gigolo Aunt", the bizarre atmosphere of "Maisie", the stylistic symmetry of song pacing between side one with side two, on the album anyway. (Baby Lemonade / Gigolo Aunt. Love Song / Waving My Arms in the Air. Dominoes / I Never Lied to You. It is Obvious / Wined and Dined. Rats / Wolfpack. Maisie / Elephant.) What it took to make this album one can only imagine and it seems a great deal of credit belongs to David Gilmour for pulling, and keeping, things together. There is a pervasively sad beauty to everything. Sad not from pain, but from surrender to a nostalgia and longing. These are the emotions that provide the record with a deeper sense of organization, intentional or not.There is also a loose and improvised feel to much of what's going on here, and yet there are many many familiar markers. The bluesy riff on "Maisie" is nothing special, but the surpressed, almost mumbled delivery of the lyrics transforms the simple music into something ethereal. And we hear the lyrics of someone, no matter how altered by drugs and shades of mental illness, who has a singular voice. It would be too much to compare Barrett to Rimbaud, but there is a parallel sense of disorientation, dislocation and perceiving the everday as suddenly strange and saturated with new and concealed meaning. The clowns of "Baby Lemonade" remind us of "Octopus" from "The Madcap Laughs" -- originally called "Clowns and Jugglers". Here reality is transformed through incongruous juxtaposition: "sad town; cold iron hands; party of clowns; rain falls in grey." For lack of a better term, these are signature lyrics and belong only to Barrett because they show an uncanny ability to turn everything inside-out: "In the evening, sun going down, when the earth streams in, in the morning."Even with these brilliant words "Barrett " is a disarming record because as familiar as the music is, the whole is much stranger than the surface reveals. The instrumental passages are almost all very casual and offhand, and still unique -- the backwards guitar on "Dominoes" is something that would usually make me breathe the word "cliche", yet in the context of that most sad song it feels neither cliche or even derivative. At every moment, we're experiencing something very different and very unique. Taken apart and taken together "Barrett" is remarkable music, and anything but obvious."
A Mad Genius at work
Kerry Leimer | 02/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I should start with a few caveats. First, I thinks it's something of a scandal that no one has reviewed this album before me. Second, I freely admit that although I love Syd Barrett's music, and count him among the greatest songwriters ever, I'm a little hard-pressed to explain why. The best I can do is to say that this is music that bypasses the head and goes straight for the heart."Barrett", Syd Barrett's second solo album, is a little more polished than his first ("The Madcap Laughs", q.v.). This seems to be due to the contributions of his ex-bandmates, David Gilmour and Rick Wright, who produced this album. It's almost as if they led Syd into the studio, sat him down, bid him play, recorded what came out, and fleshed it out later. (Maybe that's exactly what happened, I don't know.) In any case, some of Barrett's lovliest songs are here, including "Baby Lemonade", "Love Song", "Dominoes", and "Gigolo Aunt". "Waving My Arms In The Air" ranks very high among my favorite Barrett songs (I like to bemuse my friends with this one), "Wined And Dined" is an achingly beautiful love song, and "Effervescing Elephant" is a charming nursery ditty (try singing this one as fast as possible without running out of breath). Hardly a bad song here."
Madness: it takes one to know one
Kerry Leimer | 08/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Barrett is a fine album, a bit choppy and unrefined, but spotted by such wonderful explosions of chaos (Rats whips me into a frenzy every time I hear it.) It also provides some fine juggling of the English language (The Effervescing Elephant has great metre, Rats has a wonderful rhythm (comparable to Cirrus Minor)) and every song has very creative lyrics. I don't recommend this album to any superficial Floyd fans who can only extend their affection to The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, while, with supercillious airs, spurn Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets ("Gee, this music's getting creepy...")"