2/10/08

Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs - 1970


This is Syd Barrett's first solo album
which he made after leaving Pink Floyd. It's
a lot softer then his stuff with Pink Floyd
and there is a lot of acoustic guitar on it,
but it's just as crazy in it's own way
and the vocals are extremely hypnotizing,
while showing an extreme lack of any effort at all
with a pinch of depression.
If his work with Pink Floyd really was
the sound of a man going insane,
then this is definitely the after math!

The first track "Terrapin"
is a hypnotizing love song
which, while beautiful and catchy,
would probably make your girlfriend
worry about you if you played it for her.
No drums in it. Just an acoustic, vocals,
and a soft playing electric guitar
which solos though out most of the song,
but can be easily forgotten.

The second track "No Good Trying"
Is just as beautiful and hypnotizing,
but it's actually a little heavy!
The music sounds so messy,
but it all falls in place.
The drums are almost constantly doing rolls,
while electric guitars play at the same time:
one semi soloing and the other one
soloing through out the whole thing
on a reverse track.
Plus, all the other seemingly random sounds
which pop up all over the place
really add to the crazy vibe
that Syd's voice and lyrics are producing!

The third track "Love You"
isn't really hypnotizing,
but Syd still sounds like he's insane in it!
It's set at a faster tempo then the first two
and has somewhat... "cute" lyrics,
but the way Syd sings thing still makes them seem
a bit creepy and crazy, but that's why I like it!
Also, the old time piano playing going on
is pretty cool two even though it doesn't stand out much.

The fourth track "No Man's Land"
is probably the most experimental song
on the whole album! The drums keep a
steady rhythm through out it,
while the guitar noises sound like they
should be extremely loud,
but actually they're not that loud at all!
Syd's voice is even louder then them.
But, the craziest of of this
is towards the end where
the vocal track got messed up
and Syd liked the way it sounded,
so he kept it like that.
You can't understand anything he's saying
and it sounds like he's speaking in tongue,
but that's why it's so cool.

The fifth track "Dark Globe"
isn't as good as the rest musically and vocally wise,
but the lyrics are pretty amazing at times!
It really sounds like he's speaking to the world.
"Won't you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at all?"

The sixth track "Here I Go"
is done on guitar, drums, and bass,
but still has a slight swing sound to it
and it sounds even more old school then it should!
But, it's actually one of my favorite songs on this album.
It's a love song about a girlfriend who treats a guy badly
leaving him and he ends up falling for her sister.
Probably the catchiest and easiest to sing along to songs
on this entire album!

The seventh track "Octopus"
isn't that easy to sing along with,
but just the way i sounds
makes you want to learn all the lyrics
and sing with Syd.
It's the most fun song on here!
This is THE best song on here
and you just have to listen to it yourself.
"The madcap laughed at the man on the border
hey ho, huff the Talbot
the winds they blew and the leaves did wag
they'll never put me in their bag"

The eighth track "Golden Hair"
is one of the slower and darker sounding songs.
Not too many parts to it,
but the lyrics a stolen from a really old poem
and Syd makes them sound almost scary!
It sounds as if you're in a dark cave
somewhere in the middle of Spain...

The ninth track "Long Gone"
is also slow and dark and at first,
you might mistake it for a really dark
country song, but it's not.
The only thing country about it
is that opening guitar part.
What I really like about this song is
when the music picks up and
the vocals are tripled tracked
and each track is singing in a different pitch.
The highest pitched one is far in the background
and almost has to yell just to be heard at all,
but that's what makes it such at trip!

The tenth track "She Took A Long Cold Look"
is all acoustic and not nearly as dark
as the last two tracks!
You can tell he did this in one take
do to the fact that he comes close to stopping
just to think of what the next set of lyrics are
and you can kind of hear him
turning the music sheet over.
Plus, at the end he says "That short?"
Great song though and it's really nice to lay in bed
listening to this song thinking about your relationships.

The eleventh track "Feel"
isn't much different from the rest of the album,
but still a great song and it sounds awesome
when they sneak in the echo effect!

The twelfth track "If It's In You"
isn't dark at all, but it's one of the more
hypnotizing sounding songs and is probably
the only song that he actually puts even a little effort
into trying to sing at all. Plus, the lyrics are great too!
"Did I wink of this, I am.
Yum, yummy, yum, don't, yummy, yum, yom, yum...
Yes, I'm thinking of this, in stream.
Skeleton kissed to the steel rail."

The thirteenth track "Late Night"
is probably the most mellow track on this album
and the drums are playing so soft you can barely hear them.
Like most of the songs on here,
it really makes you just want to lay down
and stare at the ceiling.
This is actually a love song
that you could sing to someone you love!
Just don't sing it as crazy as he does.
"And the way you kiss
will always be a very special thing to me."


Track Listing

1. Terrapin - 5:05

2. No Good Trying - 3:28

3. Love You - 2:30

4. No Man's Land - 3:03

5. Dark Globe - 2:02

6. Here I go - 3:13

7. Octopus - 3:48

8. Golden Hair - 2:01

9. Long Gone - 2:51

10. She Took A Long Cold Look - 2:07

11. Feel - 2:36

12. If It's In You - 1:57

13. Late Night - 3:13

4 comments:

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